Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1
Let me see if I can find the links, but the things I was thinking of....
A fairly recent study that made the mainstream news that linked low blood folate (they kept saying folic acid, but they were measuring blood and actually were measuring folate) with increased risk of IgE allergies (I think both food and environmental stuff). Google for it, it was pretty straightforward, and it seems like it's discussed more in-depth in autism/health circles.
There's a gene variant in the population, it's the MTHFR gene, there's a most-common form and then two variants that aren't particularly rare. The people with the variants seem to need more folate, and bad luck for them, they don't convert the folic acid that's in our food supply and most supplements into folate very well, so it's a double-whammy. Lots of health things seem to cluster (not all in one person/family) with this, early strokes, cancers (since a lot of cancers vary with folate intake, on a population level), high homocysteine, early heart attacks, migraine headaches even. Even though this is an advertisement, it's well-cited (haven't ever used the product)...http://www.hsfighters.com/folate_not_folicacid.htm
And whoMe's page that links all sorts of related stuff....http://www.detoxpuzzle.com/folate.php
Look at the left-hand bar for related topics.
re: methylation, that's an interesting one because, for example, DS and I seem to be really behind in methylation, not enough methyl groups for the things that need them, but the only IgE allergies for us are some fairly mild environmental allergies I've had since my early teens. As best I can tell, I don't have MTHFR gene variant issues, my family history doesn't fit, and I think with the other health issues that I know I DO have, I would be sicker if I had MTHFR in addition. So you can have methylation issues without having the MTHFR variant. The Yasko discussion that mamafish9 started has links to Yasko's forum which seems to go into much more depth re: methylation and various places it can get slowed down, it's more complicated than MTHFR, so if things seem confusing, that's a place to look for more info.
And methylation is one of the major ways that we excrete some of the nasty, and ubiquitous, environmental chemicals that we run into. So problems with methylation would put a person at higher risk of the health/behavior issues that would result from toxins building up.
Obviously folate's also important for midline defects, significant stuff like neural tube defects and cleft lips/palates, hypospadias, but also subtle stuff like tongue ties (if you google studies on cleft lip/palate, you'll see references to ankyloglossia as well, that's fancy talk for tongue tie, they cluster). So a family history of this should start consideration of these things.