If you have a COMT gene mutation, the first question to ask is, do I have a fast COMT gene or a slow COMT gene?
COMT gene mutations symptoms will present differently depending on whether your COMT gene is fast, slow, or balanced.
The function of the COMT gene is to help metabolize estrogen, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. The COMT gene also metabolizes catechins from food and drinks.
SAMe and magnesium are the co-factors for the COMT gene to function. If someone is deficient in magnesium or SAMe, the COMT gene can become slow due to a nutritional co-factor deficiency.
Magnesium is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies, and SAMe needs to be produced by the body. The body requires B vitamins, magnesium, and a well-functioning methylation pathway to make the methyl donor SAMe.
SAMe then supports the COMT gene to help metabolize estrogen and the stress neurotransmitters. SAMe is available in supplement form, but it is also essential to help the body make its own SAMe by eating foods high in B vitamins, especially B12, folate, and B2.
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed to make SAMe as well. Inflammation and stress slow down methylation thus, reducing stress and inflammation are crucial for optimal methylation as well.
Slow COMT Gene Personality Traits and Symptoms
If you have a slow COMT gene mutation that is balanced, you are:
- have a great mood
- are good at learning new things
- are a type-A driven person
If your COMT slow gene becomes too slow, you can have issues with:
- calming down when stressed
- experience increased anxiety levels
- inability to handle stressful situations
- trouble falling asleep
- high estrogen levels
High estrogen levels due to a due to a slow COMT gene can cause symptoms such as PMS, fibroids, breast tenderness, irregular menstrual periods, and mood swings.
Calcium-d-glucarate helps to support the metabolism of estrogen via the glucuronidation pathway. Metabolizing estrogen through the glucuronidation pathway helps to take the load off a slow COMT gene.
Calcium-d-glucarate also helps to prevent the deconjugation and absorption of estrogen that has already been metabolized.
Bacteria in the gut produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase that deconjugates estrogen. Estrogen that has been deconjugated must be metabolized by the COMT gene again.
Elevated beta-glucuronidase activity and thus, high estrogen levels are associated with an increased risk of hormone dependant cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancers, and colon cancers.
Glucaric acid supports the glucuronidation liver detox pathway and is found in many fruits and vegetables such as:
- cruciferous vegetables
Someone with a slow COMT gene and high estrogen can also benefit from the supplement DIM+13C for extra support to help with the metabolism of estrogen.
Fast COMT Gene Personality Traits and Symptoms
If you have a fast COMT gene mutation that is balanced, you are known to be mellow and calm. Your relaxed in stressful situations, sleep well, are fun to be around, and enjoy high adrenaline activities.
When a COMT gene becomes too fast, you can have issues with:
- experience low moods
- lack of desire to do anything
There are many health conditions associated with COMT gene mutations that are both too fast and too slow.
If your COMT is too slow, your stress neurotransmitters stay in your body longer, causing you to feel wired and anxious. On the flip side, if your COMT gene is too fast, you may find it difficult to build up enough “stress” to motivate you to get a job done or stay focused.
Someone with a slow COMT gene that is dirty is likely to feel anxious and moody. High estrogen levels can also cause a host of hormone-related symptoms.
How to support a slow COMT
Catechin containing foods and drinks such as chocolate, wine, coffee, and green tea are metabolized via the COMT gene and are best avoided if you have a slow COMT. Avoiding these foods will help to take the load off a slow COMT.
Taking downtime and implementing ways to destress is crucial to prevent stress neurotransmitters from being released. Releasing stress neurotransmitters is a quick way to overload an already slow COMT gene.
Lifestyle changes such as taking time for walks, meditation, and fun can make a huge difference to prevent anxiety associated with a slow COMT and stressful life.
A slow COMT cant do its work efficiently if it is deficient in the nutritional co-factors. SAMe and magnesium are essential nutrients for the COMT gene to function and thus methylate estrogen and stress neurotransmitters.
You can learn more about the benefits of magnesium and foods high in magnesium to support the COMT gene.
How to support a fast COMT
Eat healthy protein with every meal and avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. Increasing protein can help to boost dopamine production for focus and motivation.
Get lots of hugs! Don’t we all need more hugs?! Hugs raise dopamine levels. Someone with a fast COMT gene metabolizes dopamine faster thus hugs are extra beneficial.
To learn more about the COMT gene with in-depth health questionnaires, I highly recommend reading Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch.
You can also do genetic testing for SNPs in the COMT gene with the Strategene DNA test kit.
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