Methylation and Hair Loss


  • It is good to supplement Betaine HCl, or Betaine anhydrous, (with a meal) because stomach acid will convert it into trimethylglycine (TMG). *
  • If you’re not taking real (non-synthetic) forms of B-vitamins, you might be more susceptible to androgenic alopecia (hair loss).
  • The most important B vitamins to keep strong methylation going are: Choline, Folate (not folic acid), B6 (natural form is better) and B12.
  • Both Folate and vitamin B12 stimulate methylation.
  • The occipital hair follicles in male-patterned hair loss are properly methylated, however the vulnerable MPB hair follicles are not.
  • For most people, extra methylation will help.

What is Methylation?

Methylation contributing to epigenetic inheritance can occur through either DNA methylation or protein methylation.

DNA methylation in vertebrates typically occurs at CpG sites (cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites, that is, where a cytosine is directly followed by a guanine in the DNA sequence). This methylation results in the conversion of the cytosine to 5-methylcytosine. The formation of Me-CpG is catalyzed by the enzyme DNA methyltransferase. Human DNA has about 80%-90% of CpG sites methylated, but there are certain areas, known as CpG islands, that are GC-rich (made up of about 65% CG residues), wherein none are methylated. These are associated with the promoters of 56% of mammalian genes, including all ubiquitously expressed genes. One to two percent of the human genome are CpG clusters, and there is an inverse relationship between CpG methylation and transcriptional activity.

Protein methylation typically takes place on arginine or lysine amino acid residues in the protein sequence.[1] Arginine can be methylated once (monomethylated arginine) or twice, with either both methyl groups on one terminal nitrogen (asymmetric dimethylated arginine) or one on both nitrogens (symmetric dimethylated arginine) by peptidylarginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Lysine can be methylated once, twice or three times by lysine methyltransferases. Protein methylation has been most-studied in the histones. The transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosyl methionine to histones is catalyzed by enzymes known as histone methyltransferases. Histones that are methylated on certain residues can act epigenetically to repress or activate gene expression.[2][3] Protein methylation is one type of post-translational modification.

The Methyl group is so important that when a cell is broken down the methyl is saved inside a toxic amino acid called Homocysteine.

Homocysteine is toxic to keep bacteria and parasites away from it during the short trip to the liver where it is unpacked and the methyl gets used up by the various steps of methylation which supply compounds ranging from Tryptophan to SAMe used for DNA methylation and neurotransmitters, hormones and Serotonin.


A few years ago, I came across an unpublished study where a high dose of folic acid was used, (5 milligrams = 5,000 mcg) that helped restore hair. However, it should be better to use folate (not folic acid) because as many people (as much as 50%) have a defect in the conversion process to turn synthetic vitamin B9 into folate.


1. Homocysteine – unpacking of this amino can be blocked by Mercury. One way to bypass is to supplement with TMG, the readily available methyl will get the body to dump Homocysteine instead of attempting to recycle it. This stage can cause anything from allergies to itching and heart damage if the liver is not able to unpack this amino acid.

2. Tryptophan – if this step is broken due to Mercury supplementing with both TMG and Tryptophan will work

3. 5-htp – if this step is broken due to Mercury supplementing with both TMG and 5-htp will work

4. SAMe – if this step is broken due to Mercury supplementing with both TMG and SAMe will work.

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5. SSRI and Benzodiazepines can even block receptors of SAMe, in the case of Benzo for decades after use. One guy who tried to kill himself in his teens with Benzo still needed these receptors unblocked +40 years later.


Learn more about the Methylation Cycle here and if the link is broken here’s an archive of this page The Methylation Cycle PDF


Testing Methylation:

  • Testing B12 levels are not always revealing, but better than nothing.
  • Testing folate levels could also be used, the best is called the neutrophilic hypersegmentation index test.
  • There is a relatively new DNA methylation test, but I’m not sure about it.


DNA hypomethylation is linked to autoimmune disease:

It is linked to lupus, HIV and hep C and all the autoimmune diseases. This article is interesting, the author has done a good amount of research: Why Retroviruses Appear in AIDS, Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases , if the link is broke you can find an archived copy of this article in this PDF document.  Hypomethylation is not only linked to theses diseases, it is also linked to male pattern hair loss.

Quote (from the article above)

Garlic has the selenium, but beetroot has folic acid and choline that are both nutrients needed for DNA Methylation to
happen. Olive oil provides the Omega essential fatty acids.

Consider these studies on Methylation that support the above text:

* Trimethylglycine (TMG) is a methyl derivative of the amino acid glycine. It is produced in the body through the oxidation of choline. It has 3 chemically reactive methyl groups and was first discovered in the juice of sugar beets (Beta Vulgaris), which is why it is also known as betaine.

Betaine Anhydrous ( A.K.A. “TMG”) vs. Betaine Hydrochloride: Both are taken as a nutritional supplement in treatment of high homocysteine levels, betaine hydrochloric acid is also sold as a digestive aid and as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid for people who have a deficiency of stomach acid production; the anhydrous form does not include this benefit. The HCl form also has an extremely sour taste while the anhydrous has a mild, pleasant taste.

Updated: 5/13/2011

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  1. Autoimmune Disease, Pathogens and Hair Loss | World Hair Research Says:

    [...] hypomethylation is a major contributor to autoimmune diseases. Read: Methylation and Hair Loss [...]

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