Chas Gant MD, PhD
Given the exuberant response to the article Methylation 101: What it Means for Your Health, I have been encouraged to write a second article to continue the discussion. In the first article, I introduced the idea that those with “methylation defects” are relatively less capable of methylating away the fight/flight neurotransmitter noradrenalin and are thus likely to incur a more heightened and sustained stress response from stressors of any cause (emotional, metabolic (e.g., low blood sugar), infectious (e.g., candida), toxic (e.g., mercury) or energetic (e.g., wi-fis and microwaves). Having a heightened tendency to be motivated by extra stress, the up-side of having methylation defects can compel such people to have increased drive to succeed and be more productive.
The Good and Bad of Genetics
The same argument has been made for another common genetic quirk which you may be more familiar with, sickle-cell disease. The genetic abnormality which causes hemoglobin to be made in a different way provides protection against malaria, a disease which has been so devastating that some medical anthropologists suggest it has killed more human beings in history than all other diseases combined. Those who have one sickling gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other parent – called sickle-cell trait - have the best of both worlds. Their hemoglobin is fairly functional because the normal gene from one parent covers up the expression of sickling gene. The sickling gene however, gives protection against malaria.