Mastering Nutrition Podcast Episode 43: Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine

Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine

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Mastering Nutrition Podcast Episode 43: Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine

Our consciousness is like a net. We want the net to be fluid enough to let thoughts that bother us pass through without grabbing our attention, but strong enough to grab on to the ideas and motivations that will drive us to achieve what we value in life. Nutrition has a big impact on this net. In this episode, learn how foods like liver, egg yolks, meat, leafy greens, legumes, collagen, bone broth, spinach, wheat, and beets can help you achieve a fluid yet stable mental disposition resistant to anxiety, depression, and distraction.

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This episode is brought to you by Ample Meal. Ample is a meal-in-a-bottle that takes a total of two minutes to prepare, consume, and clean up. It provides a balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrate, plus all the vitamins and minerals you need in a single meal, all from a blend of natural ingredients. The protein is from whey and collagen. The fat is from coconut oil and macadamia nut oil. The carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals come exclusively from food sources like sweet potatoes, bananas, cocoa powder, wheat and barley grass, and chlorella. I use Ample on Mondays when I have 12 hours of appointments with breaks no longer than 15 minutes. It keeps my brain going while I power through the long day, never letting food prep make me late for an appointment. Head to amplemeal.com and enter the promo code “CHRIS15” at checkout for a 15% discount off your first order.

This episode is brought to you by US Wellness Meats. I use their liverwurst as a convenient way to make a sustainable habit of eating a diversity of organ meats. They also have a milder braunschweiger and an even milder head cheese that gives you similar benefits, as well as a wide array of other meat products, all from animals raised on pasture. Head to grasslandbeef.com and enter promo code “Chris” at checkout to get a 15% discount on any order that is at least 7 pounds and is at least $75 after applying the discount but under 40 pounds (it can be 39.99 lbs, but not 40). You can use this discount code not once, but twice!

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Show Notes for “Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine”

In this episode, you'll find all the following and more:

00:38  Cliff notes

12:15  Three stories illustrating how foods impact mental stability and fluidity.

13:00  How veganism profoundly worsened my OCD and panic attacks and going Weston A. Price made them disappear.

 18:55  Jeffrey is an entrepreneur who uses intermittent fasting and low-protein lunches to remain hyper-focused through the workday, but at the risk of an occasional panic attack.

 22:05  Jordan uses methylation supplements to optimize his energy and mental focus, but can experience a spectrum of methylation states that range from bodily tiredness on one end to intense focus suitable for creative and analytic work in the middle, to flighty productivity suitable for errands on the high end, to a severe crash characterized by apathy.

28:12  The methylation system and the roles of sulfur amino acids (methionine and cysteine), magnesium, ATP, B6, serine and glycine, folate, B12, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, choline, betaine, and creatine.

 34:18  The two principle fates of homocysteine.

 40:10  Glycine as the endogenous buffer of extra methyl groups.

 42:40  Obtaining betaine and choline from foods.

 45:40  Creatine as a methyl group sparer.

 48:20  Niacin and nicotinamide riboside as a tax on the methylation system.

 50:25  Tonic and phasic dopamine, and how methylation mediated by catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) regulates the balance.

 57:20  How the balance of tonic and phasic dopamine determines the ease of switching mental states.

1:03:50  Worrier vs. warrior phenotype.

1:09:10  Histamine in the brain as an alertness signal and a potential contributor to panic attacks.

1:11:55  Explaining the three stories.

1:22:18  Practical conclusions.

Other Posts Related to “Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine”

The Pursuit of Happiness: How Nutrient-dense Animal Fats Promote Mental and Emotional Health

Meat, Bones, Organs and Skin: Nutrition for Mental Health

Research Related to “Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine”

Taylor S. Association between COMT Val158Met and psychiatric disorders: A comprehensive meta-analysis. 2017.

Bilder et al. The catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism: relations to the tonic-phasic dopamine hypothesis and neuropsychiatric phenotypes. 2004.

Turnbridge EM. The catechol-O-methyltransferase gene: its regulation and polymorphisms. 2010.

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17 Comments

  1. Just signed up for Masterpass. Is there a transcript to this episode? It would help me a lot to be able to read and listen. Don’t know if it’s the hearing impairment or how I’m made. Thanks for your help!

  2. I recently did an NAD+ infusion and now am a zombie, that is depressed. I cannot think. When I get IV vitamins I feel better for 2 days and on day 3 I feel my mood dropping, day 4 I am an emotional, and by day 5+ I’m a wreck.

    I am an emotionally stable person, multiple degrees, nurse practitioner, single parent mom, have a business, and generally am a happy and outgoing person with high emotional intelligence. I’m 41 but look 30. I do have ADHD and was on 10mg twice a day before the infusion. (Already struggled with dopamine levels)

    Then on 2/3/20, I had 500mg of NAD+ over a 3.5 hr infusion in the evening. I went to sleep and woke up and my brain was empty. It felt like I had no dopamine or serotonin… maybe even acetylcholine because I could not remember either.
    I could barely drive to work the next day. My dose of adderall was a joke at that point.
    It has been 10 days now and I’m worried this is permanent damage. I do not have any variants of MTHFR so that is not the problem. When I get IV vitamins I am better for a few days. I now take Adderall XR 30mg and 20mg immediate morning and noon and still can barely function, can barely smile. It’s like there is no dopamine to rally together to hang out in the synapse. So adderall is ineffective. I cannot stay like this!

    Oh I bought methylfolate and methylB12 and it helped but only with the IV vitamins. When the IV vitamins wore off, the oral dosing was no longer helping.

    My ADHD brain used to be an ocean, waves crashing, with fog (brain fog) and seagulls (squirrel!)… and now it a still lake at night in the dark. No movement. I just wait for the rainstorm (depression) that I know is coming to join the lake of stillness (even on gobs of adderall). I am going to buy some of the items you mentioned above but any other i put is appreciated… or connect me to someone with a similar experience had and mayne even recovered from.

    Have you heard of this happening to anyone else? Any input is appreciated.

  3. I really enjoyed the podcast. I signed up for the masterpass but I cannot locate the transcript. How can I obtain a transcript of this episode?

  4. How can I find the transcript for this episode? I signed up for the Masterpass and I cannot find it on there.

  5. Listen to this. I had this theory for some time. It’s a widely accepted meme out there that meat is bad. The few ones, like Chris, that says it works miracle is the ones who eat a lot of glycine (liver, joints, the whole animal).

    Could it just be that we need more glycine when we eat meat to make it healthy?

    Everything makes sense for this theory, but I would be happy if someone proved me wrong.

  6. Hi there! Thank you so very much for this incredible work you are doing. I am looking over your consultant options as soon as I’m done typing this! Your work is so easy to understand and incredibly detailed. I really enjoy the videos!

    Situation/Question: After listening to a couple of your other videos I began taking 3-4 egg yolks a day and supplementing 3-5gr creatine a day. I also take a methylated multi. I felt incredible at first and thought I had found a critical key to healing. Then I crashed hard emotionally and have had a few really scary bouts of rage. I used to get this with methylated b vitamins but after a ton of work and healing I was able to tolerate them and felt I was benefiting from them. I am curious if adding the creatine reduced my need for methylfolate and now I am reacting to the methylated b vitamins again? Or do you think it could be the creatine causing the rage? I would greatly appreciate your input!!

    1. You may have cut your needs for the methylfolate in half, and require an adaptation period of several weeks. I have an episode coming out in a few weeks, “Does Methylfolate Make You Angry or Depressed?” that addresses this. The short of it is I would take out the methylated Bs and work them up at lower doses.

  7. Hey Chris,

    Great podcast! I struggle to keep up with the terminology so I appreciate the practical takeaway at the end.

    If one is suspecting that they are over-methylating, is there a simple approach to finding that out? For example, being super distracted and flighty, you may start with a niacin supplement and see if that brings you more of a balance? Obviously it’s a lot more complicated than that, but at least this could point you in the right direction.

    Would you recommend niacin, niacinamide, or nicotinamide riboside if so?

    Thanks so much!

    -Mike

  8. A question – do you know anything about the dynamics of all this?
    For instance – how much time after you ‘deplete’ your tonic pool will the brain recalibrate?

  9. That topic is near and dear to me and it was such a great podcast !
    I literally listened to it 5 times !

  10. Hi Chris,

    Great podcast! I really enjoyed it.

    Keep up good work! It so many popular “science” on the internet these days, but so few authors truly understand what they put there.
    It would be really great, if you make podcast episode about most important SNPs, how to balance their activity (similar what you did in this episode).

    Cheers from Slovakia

    1. Thanks Lubomir!

      I have done that a bit with MTHFR and melanopsin. Hard to cover it in general, but one at a time works for me. 🙂

  11. Thanks for this Chris, very informative! Helps us laymen piece together more pieces of a very complicated puzzle.

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