Symptoms of Overmethylation

Overmethylation, which refers to a higher-than-normal level of methylation in the body, has been associated with certain imbalances in brain chemistry that can cause the brain to panic, leading to a range of confusing symptoms. Methylation is involved in the regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain, and imbalances in methylation can lead to changes in neurotransmitter activity that can affect mood, behavior, and other brain functions. (Read more on methylation.) 

By adopting a proper diet, taking supplements as needed, and engaging in the right activities, you can balance your methylation and reduce the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety: feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated, worried, panicked, and wanting to retreat inward.
  • Being stuck in your head: overthinking, overanalyzing, excessively self-reflective, and ruminating about past hurts and future scenarios.
  • Sensitivity: being emotionally hypersensitive, weepy, withdrawn, feeling down, sad, depressed, frustrated with yourself or others, or guilty.
  • Indecision: having trouble deciding, second-guessing, feeling confused, having trouble staying motivated for routine things, or remembering to do something, and rehashing details with no clear conclusion.
  • Relationship tension: feeling that you are to blame, paranoia that others are out to offend, hurt, or focus on your mistakes.

The severity of these symptoms depends on how much you are overmethylating, with the severity ranging from adaptive (0 to +1 on the methylation scale) to uncomfortable, disruptive, restrictive, paralyzing, and finally to clinical (around +8).

You can reduce these symptoms through dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, such as reducing and managing stress. It's important to note that sequencing your DNA is essential for determining which foods not only help you balance your methylation but are also safe for you to consume. If you have issues with histamine, for example, this list may not be suitable for you.

Histamine foods

Foods that add histamine to the body, thereby lowering methylation

  • Fermented Vegetables and Dairy
    - Fermented vegetables: such as sauerkraut and kimchi
    - Fermented dairy: such as cheese (especially aged), yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, kefir
  • Fermented Meats and Fish
    - Cured or fermented meats: such as sausages, salami, and fermented ham
    - Frozen, salted, or canned fish: such as sardines and tuna
  • Fermented Grains and Soy Products
    - Fermented grains: such as sourdough bread
    - Fermented soy products: such as tempeh, miso, soy sauce, and natto
  • Fruits and Vegetables
    - Tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, avocado, pickles or pickled veggies, dates, dried fruits such as prunes, raisins and dried apricots
  • Beverages
    - Kombucha, wine, beer, alcohol, and champagne
    - Vinegar

Histamine releasing foods

Foods that cause the body to release histamine, thereby lowering methylation.

  • Seafood: fish, shellfish, etc.
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, spirits, etc.
  • Cocoa
  • Nuts: peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.
  • Spices: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, etc.
  • Citrus fruits: oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit
  • Legumes: lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas, etc.
  • Fruits: pineapples, bananas, strawberries, papaya
  • Food additives: colorants, preservatives, stabilizers, flavorings, etc.

Find out which foods lower your methylation, by hour, and for how long by getting your own methylation profile.

Wantke F, Götz M, Jarisch R. Histamine-free diet: treatment of choice for histamine-induced food intolerance and supporting treatment for chronic headaches. Clin Exp Allergy. 1993 Dec;23(12):982-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.1993.tb00287.x. PMID: 10779289.

Laura Maintz, Natalija Novak, Histamine and histamine intolerance, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 5, May 2007, Pages 1185–1196,

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