Dirty Gene Spotlight! 🧬💡 COMT (Catechol-O-methyl transferase
This is I like to call the PANIC ATTACK GENE! ❌😱
This is one of the genes associated with OVERMETHYLATION
COMT is an enzyme that breaks down a class of neurotransmitters called catecholamines. These include: Dopamine, Norepinephrine & Epinephrine (Adrenaline). COMT deactivates catecholamines by introducing a methyl group into their structure via S-adenosyl methionine. In simple words, people that have sluggish/slow COMT have a tendency to make these Dopamine and Norepinephrine at a normal rate but DO NOT break them down fast enough causing a buildup of these neurochemicals! 🧬⬆️ Some people have up to a 75% reduction in COMT enzyme activity meaning that they are only breaking down catecholamines at around 25% 😓
This sounds like a good thing… high Dopamine right?? WRONG!!
Catecholamines are structurally similar so Dopamine and Norepinephrine can readily convert into PURE ADRENALINE 😱 This can predispose someone to experience panic attacks, panic disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder❤️🩹 it’s estimated that up to 25% of the population have some variation of this gene.
How do I know if I have COMT???
Have you ever had a panic attack?? Then you might!!! If you suspect you have COMT, you can seek DNA testing from a licensed, trained medical professional such as myself. We will be able to look at your DNA results to look at a number of genes related to mental health to determine the best path for you.
If you have COMT…
❌ DON’T ❌
•DO NOT TAKE METHYLFOLATE OR METHYLCOBALAMIN OR TMG ‼️These are ingredients that have been made super prevalent with the increasing popularity of MTHFR which is a ‘dirty gene’ that has become super mainstream.
For someone with COMT, methylated supplements can cause an influx of adrenaline which can create a cascade of stress signals that can damage the HPA axis and burn out the adrenals.
**Even if you have MTHFR you should not take methylfolate or any methyl donating supplements. Although it is super complicated to explain- you can be BOTH an undermethylator and an overmethylator (at the same time). Are you confused yet????? If you have MTHFR and COMT simultaneously I recommend taking “folinic acid” instead of methylfolate because it speeds up natural methylation without over stimulating COMT
•Avoid green tea 🍵 🌱
But green tea is healthy right?!?? 😫 Sorry guys, green tea contains a compound called EGCG. This is a natural bioflavonoid that has a natural catechol structure. This can supply the building blocks to make extra catecholamines thus contributing to extra congestion in the COMT pathway
•Work with an EXPERT! See a practitioner with an ADVANCED DEGREE. Someone such as myself with an advanced understanding of NUTRIGENOMICS and functional medicine.
I am a patient advocate. I will help you weigh your options. Some of my clients want to do everything exclusively naturopathically and others are looking for therapies to COMPLIMENT their psychiatric medications. I do not discriminate and o accept you no matter where you are in your healing journey
Magnesium is a cofactor for COMT, required for its efficient activity
•Try Folinic Acid
Folinic acid is activated folic acid that doesn’t donate methyl groups like methylfolate. It is arguably the most gentle form of folate that readily aids in DNA synthesis. Folate also helps to convert tryptophan to serotonin which is also essential for balanced mental health
•Try a Demethylated B12 such as adenosylB12 (adenosylcoblamin) or hydroxyB12 (hydroxycobalamin). There is a correlation between low B12 and depression and anxiety. These are activated forms of vitamin B 12 that will provide you with the mental health benefits of cobalamin without jamming up your COMT pathway.
There are dozens of other target at supplements you can try but it’s highly recommended that you work with a professional that understand the nuances of the different DNA mutations and their interactions!
This information is intended for commentary and does not replace medical advice.