Dr Damien Downing MBBS MSB
Dr Downing is President of the British Society for Ecological Medicine and was for 20 years Editor of the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. He is Chief Medical Advisor to the cancer charity Yes to Life and serves on the Editorial Board of the Orthomolecular News Service.
His 1986 book Daylight Robbery pioneered our understanding of how vital sunlight and vitamin D are for health. His latest book, The Vitamin Cure for Allergies, was released in the USA & on Kindle in 2010.
Damien Downing practises Ecological Medicine, a systems approach to health that considers interactions between individuals and the environment, and their health
2012 - Methylation, Homocysteine and Ageing
The methylation cycle is a biochemical “crossroads” critical to many essential processes including: gene expression; catecholamine metabolism; membrane fluidity and signalling; cellular energy production. As such it is critical to most aspects of health and disease, but particularly to developmental and degenerative diseases and to ageing.
Homocysteine level is both an indicator of methylation activity and a risk marker for many developmental and degenerative disorders, but it is not a sensitive instrument. Functional methylation panels describe current function but can change rapidly. Genomic panels describe a permanent state and can target therapy.
Past and current research have identified a number of people who are responsive to, even dependent on, vitamin B12, without haematological signs. A pathognomic sign is the “pronounced slowing of mental processes” (1956), aka “strange tiredness” (2010).
Several categories of chemicals are known specifically to impair methylation and have been linked to degenerative diseases: anticonvulsants including benzodiazepines; polyhalogenated compunds such as dioxins; heavy metals. We are all increasingly exposed to environmental pollutants, and so the need for methylation support increases with time.