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October 1, 2018 - Methylation and Epigenetics – Life and Death


October 1, 2018 Puzzle Piece
Methylation and Epigenetics – Life and Death


marc_image1Methylation was 1st discovered in 1951 (Biochemical Journal) by G.R. Wyatt. He was testing for nucleotides (purines (Adenine and Guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine).  His investigation was with paper chromatography, which was basically, coffee filter paper.   

The liquid containing desired chemicals were place on the paper.  As the chemicals traveled up the paper, the chemicals separated at different rates.  He had one very unexpected reading.  One column moved much faster than all the others.  He suspected it to be methyl cytosine.  To verify this, he needed to purchase some from a laboratory and compare his sample.  The problem was no sample was available, as it did not exist.  That is how methylation was discovered.

Think of methylation as genetic control.  Methylation primarily turns off genes.  Once you make 2 eyes, elbows, legs kidneys etc., you don’t (presumably) need any more.  Therefore, those genes are turned off via methylation.

Methylation took a back seat once the structure of DNA was published by Watson and Crick in 1953.


This began a race to discover the function of DNA.  Early findings were that DNA coded for protein.  The thinking was that each chromosome coded for a protein.  It was later discovered that about 2% of the genome codes for protein.  The other 98% was ignominiously labeled “JUNK DNA”.  This name persists to this day.

The 1st genomic sequence was attempted in 1988.  The technology was just not yet available.  The human genome project began in 1990.  The 1st draft was released in 2000.  Then President Clinton said of it “Nearly two centuries ago, in this room, on this floor, Thomas Jefferson and a trusted aide spread out a magnificent map -- a map Jefferson had long prayed he would get to see in his lifetime. The aide was Meriwether Lewis and the map was the product of his courageous expedition across the American frontier, all the way to the Pacific. It was a map that defined the contours and forever expanded the frontiers of our continent and our imagination.

Today, the world is joining us here in the East Room to behold a map of even greater significance. We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.”…” Today, we are learning the language in which God created life”

The human genome project was completed in 2003 with 99.9% of the genome mapped.  10 people’s genome were selected for the project.  Their identities were never revealed.

Research then took on a dizzying pace, still concentrated on protein production and genetic diseases. In 2013 there was a conference held in san Diego where one speaker said, “gene sequencing is not the answer to solving the problems of human health and much of the research currently being conducted is irrelevant!”  The person who said this was Francis Crick.  Yes, that Francis Crick of Watson and Crick.

So, if gene sequencing is irrelevant as Crick suggests:  Is there anything that might be more relevant?

Now we come full circle, going back to 1951 and using the term EPIGENETICS.  The regulation and control of our genes.  Methylation is the most studied method of regulating our genes.  As this knowledge grew genetic sequencing came down in cost.  Internet companies (primarily 23 and me and began, and after lengthy legal proceedings began sequencing genes for $100-$200.00) They offered info on some genetic diseases, genetic background and raw data.


The raw data was 15,000 pages of thisinformation printed above.  It didn’t tell you if your genes were good or bad, just what they were.  If your mind didn’t go numb, you didn’t fall asleep or have a seizure reading this stuff, you would
need a PhD in biochemistry just to understand it.  It just so happens, Dr Marc Harris has a PhD in biochemistry and have read the entire 15,000 pages.

Companies sprang up on the internet to interpret the data.  That worked ok for a while, but the reports became narrower in their focus.  The sequencing companies started to gear their data more toward family trees and less toward health.  There are also gaps in the raw data, so the interpretations are incomplete.

What can we do as practitioners, to make this practical?  Understanding methylation can opening the door to understand why patients and doctors get “stuck” if improving health.  Our current understanding allows us to seek optimal health.  It can take us from good to great if we understand the data and can find the keys that unlock the doors.

Marc Harris M.D, N.D., Ph.D.has been studying genetic regulation and control (methylation) since receiving his doctorate in biochemistry in 1973.  He has contracted with a company to produce a methylation/genetic test kit.  The methylation kits will be available at Brimhall Homecoming June 3rd-6th in Phoenix.  Dr. Harris will lead a break out session explaining how to use the kit, a primer on the genes and what to do about all of it.  For those interested in learning more about methylation, Dr. Harris also gives a 3-day seminar on methylation and epigenetics.

Why is methylation relevant.  It has direct and indirect causes of:

·         Inflammation (as in every chronic disease)

·         Brain chemistry

·         Alzheimer’s

·         Huntington’s disease

·         Energy

·         Detox

·         Liver function

·         Energy

·         Depression

·         Anxiety

·         Mitochondrial health

·         And most other health conditions

The 1st foray into methylation was the MTHFR gene.  Many physicians hooked onto this gene and began testing for it.  Much like what we now know about DNA:  it is not one gene, 1 protein.  Junk DNA is not junk.  Methylation is not one gene, one function.  If you only check MTHFR or any other single methylation gene and treat it, you will cause another path of dysfunction and could lead to dys-ease.  Genes are interrelated. 

Dr Harris, with his photographic memory and his three PhD’s, not only read all 15,000 pages on genes but also has the ability to correlated it all at once.  He has developed a test Kit that signifies where the problems are and balances the epigenetic code upstream and downstream.  The test kit Dr Harris developed, and the system of testing and balancing is in an exact order.   Once you have and know the system, it takes the guesswork out of testing and treatment.

Do your-selves and your patients a huge favor.   Proper genetic function by epigenetic balance is most likely the most impressive missing piece in health and health care.  Please make it to one of Dr Harris’s Methylation Seminars and Homecoming 2019.  It is not just your patient’s genes you need to be aware of.  It is how well they are functioning.  It is a must to learn about methylation/epigenetics and balanced function.


Yours in Health and Wellness,

Marc Harris, ND, MD, PhD, PhD, PhD

John W Brimhall, DC, BA, BS, FIAMA, DIBAK




This next annual 2019 Brimhall Homecoming will start your new year out right!
Doctor/Family Treating and Brimhall Certification begins Thursday, Jan 3rd from 6-8pm.
Classes and Workshops will start Friday, Jan 4th, 8am.


Click Here For All Methylation Seminars

Yours in Health and Wellness,

John Brimhall, DC, BA, BS, DIBAK, FIAMA

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