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The key to optimal health: are you methylating?

MTHF Reductase & Methylation

What is methylation?

This is an important chemical reaction that happens in every cell and tissue in our body. It’s the process of adding a methyl group to a protein which will change how that protein works in the body. Enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells and even genes are proteins. In fact, methylating genes will either turn them on or off, having very far reaching health implications in our bodies. 

Methylation will also help us detoxify. It removed harmful homocysteine from the blood stream which is highly implicated with cardiovascular disease.

Many factors will affect our bodies ability to methylate including genetic mutation, environmental toxins, certain prescription medications such as methotrexate and over the counter medications such as antacids. Nutrients such as B12 will aid with this methylation process by donating the methyl group for the methylation of proteins.

What is MTHFR and why is it important to methylation?

MTHFR is the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. Reduction in this enzymes will reduce your ability to methylate which affects all cells in your body including the expression of your DNA!

This enzymes can be tested for with a saliva sample. Your DNA will be sequenced and any small mutations in the gene that codes for the MTHFR enzymes and other genes involved in methylation will be discovered. If your genes predispose you to poor methylation it can be addressed with proper diet and supplementation counselling.

Mutations in MTHFR are quite common. 20-40% have one copy of the mutation while 4-14% will have 2 copies. However even if someone have 2 copies of the mutated gene this does not mean they will express illness. Our environment plays a large role in gene mutation as do other genes

How to test for genetic mutations in your methylation pathway?

At Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre patients are encouraged to test their DNA through an ancestry company called 23andme. Through this we get the raw DNA data to look for genetic mutations such as MTHFR among many others. 23andme also provides ancestry information which is fascinating for patients to learn about the origins of their DNA and connect with distant cousins if they choose to do so… you can even find out how much neanderthal DNA is in your genome!

What are symptoms of MTHFR insufficiency?

  • insomnia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • ulcers
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • hypertension
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • memory loss
  • brain fog
  • muscle pain
  • delayed speech
  • hand tremor
  • pre-eclampsia
  • recurrent miscarriages
  • decreased neurotransmitters such as dopamine and seotonin
  • autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • depression
  • erectile dysfunction
  • cancer
  • alzheimers
  • parkinsons
  • raynauds
  • and many more…

How to treat insufficient methylation and MTHFR genetic mutations?

Nutrition and supplements are extremely important if you discover your methylation pathway is compromised. Getting more of following nutrients, among many others, via diet or supplement at varying doses may be considered by your health care provider:

  • Vitamin B12 in the methylcobalamine form
  • Folate in the 5-methyltetrahydrafolate form
  • Choline and Serine
  • Glutathione
  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium and Copper
  • Vitamin B2, B3 and B6

-Dr. Tara

My recent trip to costco! There are so many great healthy options in bulk these days, below are a few of my favorite go to’s: 

 -organic coconut oil, olive and avocado oil 
-coconut flour 
-almond flour 
-shredded coconut 
-coconut/almond milk 
-non gmo sweet potato crackers 
-avocados and bananas 
-wild caught fish including salmon 
-true to nature gluten free granola bars 
-chia seeds and hemp hearts 
-Qia cereal 
-unsweetened jam 
-almond butter 
-frozen blueberries without pesticides 
-dried fig and mangos without sugar and oil  
-real pickles refrigerated  
-olives 
-organic coffee and tea 
-organic chicken (not free range) 

 Do you have any other favs!? 

 #dartmouthnaturopathic #spotted #healthyshopping #organic #costco #nutrition #dartmouth #naturopathic #halifax 



  (at Costco Dartmouth)

My recent trip to costco! There are so many great healthy options in bulk these days, below are a few of my favorite go to’s:

-organic coconut oil, olive and avocado oil
-coconut flour
-almond flour
-shredded coconut
-coconut/almond milk
-non gmo sweet potato crackers
-avocados and bananas
-wild caught fish including salmon
-true to nature gluten free granola bars
-chia seeds and hemp hearts
-Qia cereal
-unsweetened jam
-almond butter
-frozen blueberries without pesticides
-dried fig and mangos without sugar and oil
-real pickles refrigerated
-olives
-organic coffee and tea
-organic chicken (not free range)

Do you have any other favs!?

#dartmouthnaturopathic #spotted #healthyshopping #organic #costco #nutrition #dartmouth #naturopathic #halifax

(at Costco Dartmouth)

Have you stocked up on Halloween treats yet? It can be tough to find healthy options to hand out. I found these freeze dried fruit packs at Costco that have no sugar or additives, they’re pretty tasty too! Another option to avoid GMOs and refined sugars for trick or treaters is to hand out mini toys, stickers, prizes, etc. Do you have any healthy treat ideas to share? 

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #ND #halloween #trickortreat #freezesdried #fruit #gmofree  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Have you stocked up on Halloween treats yet? It can be tough to find healthy options to hand out. I found these freeze dried fruit packs at Costco that have no sugar or additives, they’re pretty tasty too! Another option to avoid GMOs and refined sugars for trick or treaters is to hand out mini toys, stickers, prizes, etc. Do you have any healthy treat ideas to share?

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #ND #halloween #trickortreat #freezesdried #fruit #gmofree (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Getting a dose of my own medicine today from my colleague Dr. Colin Macleod!  

 IV therapy is a safe and effective way to treat nutrient deficiencies or to provide a therapeutic benefit for those patients with fatigue, low moods, autoimmune disease, viral or bacterial infections, pain or headaches, allergies, cancer, chronic disease or to those who just want the boost! 

 Once you’re a patient at Dartmouth Naturopathic, IV therapy is accessible to you at any time, you may want to consider coming in for one or a series before your benefits run out this January 1st! 

 #IVtherapy #naturopathic #dartmouth #vitamins #fatigue #autoimmune #health #myers #b12  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Getting a dose of my own medicine today from my colleague Dr. Colin Macleod!

IV therapy is a safe and effective way to treat nutrient deficiencies or to provide a therapeutic benefit for those patients with fatigue, low moods, autoimmune disease, viral or bacterial infections, pain or headaches, allergies, cancer, chronic disease or to those who just want the boost!

Once you’re a patient at Dartmouth Naturopathic, IV therapy is accessible to you at any time, you may want to consider coming in for one or a series before your benefits run out this January 1st!

#IVtherapy #naturopathic #dartmouth #vitamins #fatigue #autoimmune #health #myers #b12 (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Cauliflower fried rice! I love this idea. Place roughly chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it’s chopped into rice sized piece. Stir fry onions, garlic and veggies in coconut oil and turmeric. Add the cauliflower “rice” with soy sauce or coconut sauce! 

 It tastes great, it’s free of grains and it packed full of cancer fighting/liver cleansing compounds which are found in the brassica vegetable family.  

 Paleo friendly, great for balancing hormones and autoimmune conditions, cancer fighting, and easy on the tummy. 

 #paleo #cauliflower #naturopathic #dartmouth #health #autoimmune #cancer 
 (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Cauliflower fried rice! I love this idea. Place roughly chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it’s chopped into rice sized piece. Stir fry onions, garlic and veggies in coconut oil and turmeric. Add the cauliflower “rice” with soy sauce or coconut sauce!

It tastes great, it’s free of grains and it packed full of cancer fighting/liver cleansing compounds which are found in the brassica vegetable family.

Paleo friendly, great for balancing hormones and autoimmune conditions, cancer fighting, and easy on the tummy.

#paleo #cauliflower #naturopathic #dartmouth #health #autoimmune #cancer
(at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

My new best friend for talking poo with patients…  

 The Bristol Stool Chart. What type are you? It’s best to have a type 4 1-3x daily with no pain, blood, undigested food or mucous. 

 With diet, exercise and lifestyle changes this should be obtainable for most. Some will require extra supplementation and other therapies to obtain poophoria! 

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #bristolstoolchart #poophoria  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

My new best friend for talking poo with patients…

The Bristol Stool Chart. What type are you? It’s best to have a type 4 1-3x daily with no pain, blood, undigested food or mucous.

With diet, exercise and lifestyle changes this should be obtainable for most. Some will require extra supplementation and other therapies to obtain poophoria!

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #bristolstoolchart #poophoria (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Putting together Ayurvedic tea blends for the waiting room. Looking forward to sharing these with patients and guests.  

 According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine we are all unique and are dominant in one or two main doshas, or constitutions. They are the energy that makes up  our body, mind, and spirit. 

 It’s important to stay balanced and bring your main dosha into harmony within yourself and with the outside environment.  

 One way of doing so is using herbs and teas to suite your personal dosha.  

 We also sell these blends at the clinic. Stop by for a sample today : ) 

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #herbs #halifax #health #tea #vata #pitta #kapha #ayurveda #waitingroom @mountainroseherbs 

  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Putting together Ayurvedic tea blends for the waiting room. Looking forward to sharing these with patients and guests.

According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine we are all unique and are dominant in one or two main doshas, or constitutions. They are the energy that makes up our body, mind, and spirit.

It’s important to stay balanced and bring your main dosha into harmony within yourself and with the outside environment.

One way of doing so is using herbs and teas to suite your personal dosha.

We also sell these blends at the clinic. Stop by for a sample today : )

#dartmouth #naturopathic #herbs #halifax #health #tea #vata #pitta #kapha #ayurveda #waitingroom @mountainroseherbs

(at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Happy world water day! To celebrate I set up the clinics new #satevia water filter! This will save on plastic waste, while producing remineralized alkaline water free from impurities like heavy metals and chlorine. 

 Remember today and all days how lucky we are to have clean water to drink. Treat your body to a good dose today, a rule of thumb is to take your body weight in lbs, divide that by 2 and drink that number in oz every day! 

 #worldwaterday #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #alkaline #water (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Happy world water day! To celebrate I set up the clinics new #satevia water filter! This will save on plastic waste, while producing remineralized alkaline water free from impurities like heavy metals and chlorine.

Remember today and all days how lucky we are to have clean water to drink. Treat your body to a good dose today, a rule of thumb is to take your body weight in lbs, divide that by 2 and drink that number in oz every day!

#worldwaterday #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #alkaline #water (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Mango smoothies. Just slice up a mango, add 1-2 tbsp of cashew butter, 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk and a pinch of cardamom. This drink is refreshing but also warming, great for a sunny end of winter day! 

 If you’ve never used cardamom much in the kitchen it’s worth a try. Its the worlds third most expensive spice, known as the queen of spice. Used to stimulate digestion especially bloating and gas, as an anti microbial, great for respiratory congestion, and is also an urinary tonic. It’s pacifying to all doshas.  

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #ayurveda #mango #cardamom #cashewbutter #smoothie #raw (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Mango smoothies. Just slice up a mango, add 1-2 tbsp of cashew butter, 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk and a pinch of cardamom. This drink is refreshing but also warming, great for a sunny end of winter day!

If you’ve never used cardamom much in the kitchen it’s worth a try. Its the worlds third most expensive spice, known as the queen of spice. Used to stimulate digestion especially bloating and gas, as an anti microbial, great for respiratory congestion, and is also an urinary tonic. It’s pacifying to all doshas.

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #ayurveda #mango #cardamom #cashewbutter #smoothie #raw (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Sunday mornings & herbal coffee… take that, spring time change! 

 Here we have organic roasted dandelion root, chicory root, carob and maca! Great way to get a dark, bitter cup of warmth all while cleansing the liver, stimulating digestion, boosting energy and nourishing the adrenal (stress) glands.  

 The debate over real coffee beans being a health food still continues. Some pros are its antioxidant value (which you can get de-caffeinated btw), it reduces risk of diabetes, and it increases cognition. Some cons are its association with inflammatory markers in the blood, auto immune disease, osteoporosis, anxiety, and it’s laden with pesticides.  

 Caffeine and coffee are yang substances. They give a lot of energy in short bursts, but don’t replenish and rebuild, and may cause you to feel more depleted in the long run.  

 If your thinking of making changes my suggestion is focus on organic first, consider Swiss water decaf next, and then try herbal coffee and herbal teas… They are actually pretty tasty! 

 We carry this herbal blend at the clinic if you’re curious to try! 

 #coffee #herbs #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #maca #timechange #yinyang #ayurveda (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Sunday mornings & herbal coffee… take that, spring time change!

Here we have organic roasted dandelion root, chicory root, carob and maca! Great way to get a dark, bitter cup of warmth all while cleansing the liver, stimulating digestion, boosting energy and nourishing the adrenal (stress) glands.

The debate over real coffee beans being a health food still continues. Some pros are its antioxidant value (which you can get de-caffeinated btw), it reduces risk of diabetes, and it increases cognition. Some cons are its association with inflammatory markers in the blood, auto immune disease, osteoporosis, anxiety, and it’s laden with pesticides.

Caffeine and coffee are yang substances. They give a lot of energy in short bursts, but don’t replenish and rebuild, and may cause you to feel more depleted in the long run.

If your thinking of making changes my suggestion is focus on organic first, consider Swiss water decaf next, and then try herbal coffee and herbal teas… They are actually pretty tasty!

We carry this herbal blend at the clinic if you’re curious to try!

#coffee #herbs #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #maca #timechange #yinyang #ayurveda (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Has the winter got you beat? Then eat a beet! 

 I just opened my first jar of homemade pickled beets thanks to @mitchoo and they were delish! 

 Beets are so full of bio available minerals and vitamins including iron that they help build blood and energy.  They cleanse the liver, are high in antioxidants, and in nutrients that lower cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system.  

 Beets are great to eat during a change of season as try are very grounding. Wonderful for vata types, and if cooked pitta types.  

 #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #beets #ayurveda #pickles #nutrition  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Has the winter got you beat? Then eat a beet!

I just opened my first jar of homemade pickled beets thanks to @mitchoo and they were delish!

Beets are so full of bio available minerals and vitamins including iron that they help build blood and energy. They cleanse the liver, are high in antioxidants, and in nutrients that lower cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system.

Beets are great to eat during a change of season as try are very grounding. Wonderful for vata types, and if cooked pitta types.

#dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #beets #ayurveda #pickles #nutrition (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

A standard protein shake: 

 1. Protein powder: I choose hypoallergenic protein from rice & pea. Together they make a complete amino acid profile. Look for something high in protein, ~20g, sweetened with stevia (a no calorie natural sweetener).  

 2. Antioxidants: mixed berries are high in antioxidants, and low on the glycemic index. Look for organic.  

 3. Fibre: I use 1 tbsp of chia seeds. You can also use freshly ground flax or psyllium husk.  

 4. Healthy fats: avocado, higher in potassium than bananas, very low in fructose, and full of heart healthy mono saturated fats! Usually ¼ will do.  

 5. Mix: I use unsweetened coconut milk, but almond, rice, non gmo soy etc will do.  

 6. Extras: matcha green tea, turmeric, maca powder found at bulk food stores, lecithin, greens powder or a handful of spinach or kale. All depends on taste and what type of support you want! 

 7. Winter tip: add warming spices to you shake like a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon. If you still find shakes too chilly first thing in the am. have them as midmorning snacks or after workout snacks.  

 Shake away, and enjoy! 

 #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #proteinpowder #smoothies #shakes #avocado #matcha #cardamom #berries #coconutmilk (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

A standard protein shake:

1. Protein powder: I choose hypoallergenic protein from rice & pea. Together they make a complete amino acid profile. Look for something high in protein, ~20g, sweetened with stevia (a no calorie natural sweetener).

2. Antioxidants: mixed berries are high in antioxidants, and low on the glycemic index. Look for organic.

3. Fibre: I use 1 tbsp of chia seeds. You can also use freshly ground flax or psyllium husk.

4. Healthy fats: avocado, higher in potassium than bananas, very low in fructose, and full of heart healthy mono saturated fats! Usually ¼ will do.

5. Mix: I use unsweetened coconut milk, but almond, rice, non gmo soy etc will do.

6. Extras: matcha green tea, turmeric, maca powder found at bulk food stores, lecithin, greens powder or a handful of spinach or kale. All depends on taste and what type of support you want!

7. Winter tip: add warming spices to you shake like a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon. If you still find shakes too chilly first thing in the am. have them as midmorning snacks or after workout snacks.

Shake away, and enjoy!

#dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #proteinpowder #smoothies #shakes #avocado #matcha #cardamom #berries #coconutmilk (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Four day old broccoli sprouts ready to eat! Compared to full grown broccoli, these little guys are 20 times higher in sulforaphane, a compound that is highly anti-cancerous. 

 Try sprouting your own in jars or kits picked up at health food stores. It’s super easy,affordable, and fun to watch them grow (kids love them).  

 I place a little over soup, in salads or on sandwiches. They have a bit of a kick with a radish like taste.  

 #broccoli #sprouts #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #cancer  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Four day old broccoli sprouts ready to eat! Compared to full grown broccoli, these little guys are 20 times higher in sulforaphane, a compound that is highly anti-cancerous.

Try sprouting your own in jars or kits picked up at health food stores. It’s super easy,affordable, and fun to watch them grow (kids love them).

I place a little over soup, in salads or on sandwiches. They have a bit of a kick with a radish like taste.

#broccoli #sprouts #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #cancer (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

I love this glass tea cup with built in strainer from Sawadee tea house in Halifax. It has a plastic outer insulating layer keeping it cool to touch and unbreakable. Great for loose teas and medicinal herbal powders. 

 Inside I’m drinking holy basil tulsi tea, which Ayurveda considers an elixir of life. It eases stress and strengthens the immune system. A great warming tea for the winter months.  

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #tea #tulsi #sawadee #ayurveda #winter #commoncold  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

I love this glass tea cup with built in strainer from Sawadee tea house in Halifax. It has a plastic outer insulating layer keeping it cool to touch and unbreakable. Great for loose teas and medicinal herbal powders.

Inside I’m drinking holy basil tulsi tea, which Ayurveda considers an elixir of life. It eases stress and strengthens the immune system. A great warming tea for the winter months.

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #tea #tulsi #sawadee #ayurveda #winter #commoncold (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Nothing like a big bowl of miso soup for breakfast with lots of garlic and ginger to fight off a winter cold. 

 #miso #soup #health #naturopathic #dartmouth #commoncold #winter (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Nothing like a big bowl of miso soup for breakfast with lots of garlic and ginger to fight off a winter cold.

#miso #soup #health #naturopathic #dartmouth #commoncold #winter (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)