GABA, GABA, Doo, Part 5

June 23, 2016 at 7:26 AM

If your body cannot methylate properly, you'll experience a plethora of negative effects.

If your body cannot methylate properly, you’ll experience a plethora of negative effects.

Since I began my journey to health roughly two years ago, as part of my efforts to understand myself a bit better, I had some genetic testing done. One test was for the MTHFR Genotype test and I’ve also done the 23 and Me genetic testing. Believe me when I say that 23 and Me provides far more information than just ethnic background and where your ancestors came from. There is a wealth of information if you have access to someone who knows how to read that information. Fortunately for me, I have that person in my naturopath. I’m not recommending that you have genetic testing done, but I’m simply telling you that it’s there and depending on the actual test, it can help provide insight into your own specific system; how it works and where it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to work.

Generally speaking, these types of tests are not covered by medical insurance because it is seen as “unnecessary,” like cosmetic surgery. If you choose to go that route, be prepared to pay out of the pocket. You may be able to deduct this off your taxes under medical expenses, but you’ll need to talk to your accountant about that.

The MTHFR Genotype test is interesting because of the tremendous amount of information it provides in several specific areas related to two sets of genes and possible mutations. Each person has two C677T genes and two A1298C genes. For all people, these genes are either perfectly fine or it may be that one of the pair is mutated, or in the worst case scenario, both are mutated.

As far as I’m concerned, both of my A1298C genes are fine. Regarding the C677T pair, one is mutated, meaning they list that set of genes for me as being “homozygous.” The results of having one mutated gene shows up in the following areas:

  • is associated with decreased enzyme activity (approximately 30% of the normal activity)
  • is associated with increased homocysteine levels (potentially leading to heart attacks and strokes)
  • is correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease or thrombosis
  • is associated with potential methotrexate intolerance and patients may require dosage adjustments or discontinuation

MTHFR itself stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and “is an enzyme involved in the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. It plays a role in maintaining cellular folate levels and is a cofactor needed to convert homocysteine (a potentially toxic amino acid) to methionine.” 

The italicized quote in the previous paragraph is taken directly from my report results. Again, this is not junk science. It is authentic science that doctors use to help patients. In my case, note that MTHFR is an enzyme that metabolizes folate, etc. Folate is a methylated form of Folic Acid. In my case, what this report tells me is that my body cannot metabolize normal Folic Acid, a water-soluble B vitamin. Our bodies need this and if I chose to take a supplement, I would not only be wasting my time taking regular Folic Acid, but it might actually cause problems for me because of my body’s inability to methylate it (turn it into a usable form for my system). What do I do? I have to take a methylated form of Folic Acid known as folate. This form is something my body can use, but I have also found that I must take it in tiny amounts. Too much gives me negative side-effects.

Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folate (folate deficiency), as well as its complications, including “tired blood” (anemia) and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folate deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis.

Now, looking back, I can see that I’ve had this problem for a while but simply did not know it, prior to testing. From my current vantage point, I understand what was happening and what I can do. If my body does not get enough folate, my homocysteine levels may rise. This, in turn, can cause cardiovascular disease to form and venous thrombosis. But what else can I do to compensate for this? I can eat correctly. If I am eating the correct foods (while avoiding all the garbage out there), my body can absorb what it needs through the ingestion and digestion of these foods. For instance (and I never thought I’d ever say something like this!), kale and other foods listed in the “Paleo” diet provide plenty of vegetables with proper nutritional value. Of course, there’s a catch. I must avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and eat organically grown foods whenever possible. There is disagreement over the negatives related to GMOs, but I’m convinced in my mind, so I avoid them. That means I avoid CORN, which, in the United States represents over 90% of the corn that is grown and consumed. To make matters worse, corn or a derivative of corn (corn syrup, maltodextrin, corn starch, etc.), is part of hundreds, if not thousands of products people eat every day. I no longer eat those products, period.

GMOs are crops that are artificially created in the lab to be resistant to the following:

  • heat
  • water
  • glyphosate (Round-Up)

The first two aren’t bad, right? The third? Do you want to eat crops that are completely resistant to a pesticide? In other words, the pesticide that is sprayed on the plant (normally glyphosate found in Round-Up) does not harm the plant at all. It actually winds up absorbing the pesticide. Therefore, when you bring it home and wash it, no amount of washing it will get rid of the pesticide because it’s actually part of the plant. Is it any wonder that people are dying left and right from all sorts of cancers today? While the EPA tends to downplay the dangers of glyphosate, the reality is that people need to stop listening to the government. There is plenty of research on the ‘Net that seems to prove glyphosate’s toxicity to humans and animals. The reality that you need to remember is this when researching this or anything: who wrote the article/research paper and who paid them? There is a great deal of disinformation out there and it’s done purposefully. Do your research wisely.

But let’s get back to GABA, from our last article, I wanted to talk more about how GABA and glutamate work together to achieve balance for your system so that you don’t experience the negatives listed previously.

Based on what I’ve learned and what the experts tell us, it is unequivocally important that we understand that GABA and Glutamate need to be in balance in our systems. When these two neurotransmitters are not in balance, we will start experiencing negative side-effects and consequences.

When GABA is low, glutamate is high and vice versa. So in order to increase gamma-aminobutyric acid it’s not simply a matter of bringing it up, you must also focus on reducing the excess glutamate. The goal is to achieve balance between the two. You might think of glutamate as the accelerator and GABA as the brakes. Both are equally important.

This is not an easy thing to do to keep these things in balance, especially with the way most Americans eat today. As I’ve stated several times, if you will simply focus on eliminating the things in your diet that are actually causing your body harm, you are well on your way to increased health. This, in turn, will allow your gut to create the needed neurotransmitters and these in turn, will be utilized by your brain to work as they should work.

Because the need for balanced neurotransmitters in the brain exists continually, your body/brain is constantly in this “dance” to do what it can to place and keep things in balance. We can either help or harm the process through our eating and drinking habits.

This is the way it maintains balance; anytime glutamate levels start to build up too high, then it is converted to GABA to calm things down. However, sometimes the body cannot regulate glutamate properly for a variety of reasons which we will discuss, then glutamate can build up into excessively high levels.

Seems easy and reasonable enough, right? Unfortunately, some folks have a difficult time naturally keeping things in balance and scientists believe they know why this is the case.

An enzyme called glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is needed for glutamate to make the conversion to GABA, but there are several factors that may interfere with this enzyme and impede the conversion process, which means a build up of glutamate and inhibited formation of GABA. Response time may be delayed or capacity to convert may be impaired. It is believed that problems with the GAD enzyme may be the primary underlying issue that results in too much glutamate. (Emphasis in original)

The question is why does this happen in some people? In some cases, it may have to do with vaccinations.

For example, the rubella virus, which is found in the MMR vaccination can decrease activity of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)by as much as fifty percent. Thus, one of the reasons children begin to exhibit some of the symptoms of autism immediately after vaccination, as we mentioned earlier GABA is critical in speech and brain function. (Emphasis added)

The more they research this, the more problematic the MMR vaccination appears to be. This particular vaccination was developed against measles, mumps, and rubella. “It is a mixture of live attenuated viruses of the three diseases, administered via injection.” (Emphasis added)

When I was a kid, I had both the mumps and the measles. We just lived through it. Also, they did not group vaccines together into three or four or whatever. You took your vaccines one at a time. There appears to be growing evidence that the MMR vaccine is problematic for some people and could very well be a link between that and individuals who develop autism. Government agencies fully deny this though. Much more study needs to be done, but it would seem that some of the brilliant minds in holistic medicine who are developing theories that point fingers of blame at vaccines like MMR are ending up dead, one after another. The latest one to supposedly have killed himself is Dr. Curtis Clogston, who went missing for several weeks and then was found dead in his car. Folks, we are living in a very evil age and the Elite will do whatever they can to protect their “kingdom.”

Regarding GABA and Glutamate balancing in the brain, the process of methylation is required to perform this delicate balance. Remember my issue with methylation I mentioned in this article? Since I have a difficult time with methylation, I need to go above and beyond to ensure that I am doing all I can for my brain.

if [there] is impairment in the methylation pathway, then folate doesn’t get utilized and it can break down into glutamate. Additionally, if you are not methylating properly you may not be able to suppress microbes like viruses or make enough T cells to fight them off, which means they will linger around to interfere with the GAD enzyme.

This could also be very well why I have an ongoing Epstein Barr Virus that my body was unable to fight off and is now being treated with an anti-viral medication.

Methylation is also heavily influenced by the *Krebs cycle and vice versa, so a problem in this cycle can also impede methylation, and consequently GABA production. The Krebs cycle can also be impaired by Candida overgrowth, as well as bacterial overgrowth. If methylation is impaired, then it is even more important to manage glutamate levels.

To wrap this article up, the amount of information I’ve presented might be overwhelming to you. But start slow and do so by eliminating (not simply reducing to moderation, but fully eradicating) the following things:

  • high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • corn
  • anything with BHT and BHA (preservatives)
  • sodium nitrates (curing agent often used in meats)
  • foods with fillers and/or preservatives
  • chemicals added that you can’t even pronounce
  • gluten

The above list is not exhaustive and we’ll talk about gluten specifically soon, but it appears that gluten (from wheat) is not like it was when your grandmother was a child. Today’s wheat is known as “dwarf” wheat and was engineered in the lab like other GMOs, to resist heat, water, and glyphosate. In fact, glyphosate is often sprayed on wheat just prior to harvest to kill known bacterium. It’s what you eat though as well when you buy it for spaghetti or in breads, or in thousands of other items.

My sister had Celiac Disease and it turns out through testing, I have sensitivities to gluten, so for me, it’s best to avoid it altogether. I’ve gone gluten-free and there is a growing number of products that are also gluten-free because of consumer demand. These products are often pricier than items with gluten because they are not mass-produced, but they are simply better for you.

Oh and don’t forget to check out our increasing list of references below!

The Krebs cycle refers to a complex series of chemical reactions that produce carbon dioxide and Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound rich in energy.

Additional References:

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GABA, GABA, Doo, Part 4 GABA, GABA, Doo, Part 6

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