I’m feeling better than I was last week. My intense detox has subsided, and I’ve resumed my usual relentless research of this miserable illness. Here is yet another piece.
The importance of repairing the methylation cycle in treating Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease may start out as an infection, but left untreated, it causes many systemic imbalances and deficiencies in the body. Effective treatment of LD must include both antimicrobial therapy and support/repair of a number of the body’s systems. The methylation cycle is one of those systems that becomes impaired by LD.
What is the Methylation Cycle?
The methylation cycle is a biochemical cycle that’s involved in many of the body’s functions. When the cycle is broken, important functions are impaired. In particular, glutathione (our body’s master anti-oxidant and detox agent) is depleted. Rich van Konynenburg, Ph.D., an independent researcher who has done much research on ME/CFS syndromes, believes that glutathione depletion causes many of the problems in ME/CFS. Other prominent LLMD’s, such as Dietrich Klinghardt, also believe that this cycle must be functioning before recovery from Lyme Disease is possible.
Dr. van Konynenburg identified a number of functions involved in the methylation cycle:
- To produce vital molecules such as Co Q-10 and carnitine.
- To switch on DNA and switch off DNA. Note: When viruses attack our bodies, they take over our own DNA in order to replicate themselves. Disability of this function makes us more susceptible to viral infection.
- To produce myelin for the brain and nervous system.
- To control the liver’s synthesis of glutathione (essential for detoxification).
- To control the sulphur metabolism of the body, (also important for detoxification).
- As part of folic acid metabolism.
If the methylation cycle doesn’t work, the immune system, the detoxification system, and the anti-oxidant system all mal-function. Consequently, our body’s ability to repair is reduced.
A great website for information on ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Dr. van Konyenburg’s research is http://phoenixrising.me/. Also see http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/B12MECFSarticle.htm.
Here is a fairly simple diagram on the Methylation Cycle from the Linus Pauling Institute
Dr. Amy Yasko is another pioneer in methylation research and its role in autism. Here is a diagram from her website that helps illustrate the functions of the methylation cycle:
Deficiency of this system is now implicated in autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, Hepatitis C, Gulf War Syndrome, and in Lyme Disease. Perhaps this is a factor in many illnesses we do not yet understand.
The cornerstones of treatment are detoxification and specific nutrients:
- activated forms of vitamins B12
- activated folic acid (folate)
- phosphatidyl serine
My doctor has me on moderate doses of methylated B12 and methylfolate to start, as well as L-carnitine and Co Q 10 for energy. Recently, my energy has increased (I no longer need a nap every day) and I no longer need a thyroid supplement. Starting slowly is key, as repairing the methylation cycle puts the immune system back “on line”, which can lead to intense detox/die off reactions.
Once again, we find another piece of the already complicated puzzle of Lyme Disease.