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- 02:28 About Dr. Albert Mensah and Mensah Medical
- 05:28 Copper Dysregulation
- 07:07 Methylation and its Role in Detoxification
- 11:39 Methylation and Genetics
- 12:46 How Methylation is Affected by Stress
- 15:13 Methylation’s Effect on Detox Ability
- 21:37 Overmethylation
- 25:09 Tests to Detect Overmethylation
- 26:25 Undermethylation
- 30:11 Treatment Approach for Undermethylation
- 33:13 Priorities in Treatment Approach
- 35:05 Effect of Copper and Other Minerals on Methylation
- 41:35 Copper Toxicity and Dysregulation
- 53:02 Mensah Medical Clinics
Wendy Myers: Hello. Welcome to the Live To 110 Podcast. My name is Wendy Myers. And you can find me on myersdetox.com and my healing and detox program at MineralPower.com.
Today, we are talking to Dr. Albert Mensah of MensahMedical.com. We’re going to be talking about methylation and its importance in detoxification, the common underlying causes of health conditions and how to address them.
Methylation involves so many functions in the body, including detoxification, neurotransmitter synthesis, folate metabolism, hormone regulation, energy levels and many other processes in the body.
So you might imagine that if you’re not methylating well that you’re not going to feel good and probably have health issues. So we’re going to talk a little bit about undermethylation and overmethylation, and what exactly methylation is and why you want to know about it.
First, we have to do the disclaimer. Please keep in mind that this program is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or health condition and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. The Live to 110 Podcast is solely informational in nature. So please consult your healthcare practitioner before engaging in any treatment or suggestion that we’ll talk about today on the show.
I’m really excited. I’m building a new diet and lifestyle detox program. I haven’t decided on the name yet, maybe Diet and Lifestyle Detox. But it’s just going to be a basic program on how you can troubleshoot your diet, stress, sleep, exercise and detoxification. It will be a basic program. It’s going to cost $49, and it’s going to be up on the website in about 30 to 60 days.
I’m very, very excited about this. I’m thrilled to bring a basic program like this to people, because my mineral power program can be intense. It’s a full-pledged program involving all kinds of testing. And some people just need to get down to the basics. They just need to detox their diet, and detox their lifestyle, and sleep better. And so I developed this program just for everyone to just get a good underlying foundation for their health, and to build from there.
So that was my goal in designing this program, because I want to bring the basics of health to people so that they can feel better, and have more energy and vitality and mental clarity, et cetera. We’re going to begin with the basics.
So now, for our interview, Dr. Albert Mensah cofounded Mensah Medical Clinic, which can be found at MensahMedical.com in 2008 with Dr. Judith Bowman. And its clinic specializes in the treatment of biochemical imbalances including autism, behavior learning disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, anxiety syndromes, and childhood and adult schizophrenia, in addition to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
They use a revolutionary method of treating patients with nutrition, with diet and nutrient therapy using supplements. They test for genetic mutation and methylation while paying close attention to metal toxicities and copper imbalances. If you listened to last week’s podcast, I highly recommended it. It’s all about copper dysregulation and all the myriad number of problems that that can cause in the body.
Dr. Mensah, I firmly think that this is how medicine should be practiced. And I applaud you for basically leading the way in revolutionary medical treatment. So thank you so much for being on the show.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Thank you for having me.
Wendy Myers: So why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about why you went beyond your medical training to incorporate such cutting edge techniques into your medical practice?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Actually, I have to say I think it’s more divine guidance than anything else, because I certainly would be one of those people that no one would ever believe who would have been in a field like this.
I’ve been skeptical pretty much all my life especially in my medical career when it comes to drugs, pharmaceuticals, anything. I want proof. I want research. I want data. And I simply don’t believe things that people say.
If it weren’t for my partner, Dr. Judith Bowman, a very no-nonsense physician. I don’t think I’d be here.
She introduced me to this field at the original, now closed, Pfeiffer Treatment Center. And when I got there, I interviewed. I saw people who literally were healed from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism. I saw these folks losing their diagnosis without any medication whatsoever.
And I sat back, and I said, “Now, wait a minute. This has got to be either the biggest sham I’ve ever seen in my entire life or this is something absolutely so cutting-edge that I’ve got to be a part of it.” I figured I could always go back to regular medicine if it were a sham. Well, let’s just say, it’s been a good number of years since I’ve still been in this field. So truly, it was because of what I saw. I saw for myself and even, a real skeptic has to sit back and say, “What I’m seeing with my own eyes and hearing certainly can’t be a hoax.”
Wendy Myers: Yeah.
Dr. Albert Mensah: I was really fortunate to be able to work with Dr. William Walsh in the original Pfeiffer Treatment Center, which is now closed. But truly because of that, that’s how I’m here.
Wendy Myers: And he is very influenced by germinal analysis and copper dysregulation and other issues. Could you talk about that and how you incorporate that into your practice?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Oh, tremendously. What we’ve seen now is that truly analysis of chemicals that are inside the body are key in terms of determining what nutrient imbalances are present or not present. And most practitioners know and understand that.
Hair analyses are actually elements that we use to compliment as a secondary assessment what it is that we’re seeing as the primary evaluation. You can find not just concepts about toxic metals or things along those lines, you can also really see issues involving malabsorption, issues involving hypoglycemia, issues involving vitamin B12 challenges.
You can even get a glimmer into whether or not somebody has got these challenges, whether or not somebody is quite literally a potential bipolar individual, whether or not the diagnosis of ADD is correct or ADHD. And you can even determine whether or not someone is a possible future sociopath.
Wendy Myers: Wow, brilliant.
Dr. Albert Mensah: These are absolutely…
Wendy Myers: That’s new to me. That is new.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Dr. Walsh’s rule of hair analysis, when he first started his work, that’s all he used. And he could literally determine who had sociopathic or criminal-type behavior just from a hair pattern.
Wendy Myers: Wow. That’s fascinating. I love that.
Dr. Albert Mensah:We’ve been blessed with a lot of learning through these individuals. And it can come in extremely handy, extremely handy.
Wendy Myers: So let’s talk about methylation. So let’s start with the basics. What is methylation and its important role in detox?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Methylation is a process. And that’s one of the things people need to understand firstly. It is a process by which certain molecules are either added or removed from other molecules, so to activate or inactivate enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters.
So a methyl group is really just a carbon with three or four hydrogens on there. And they act like Legos. That’s what I always say. You keep adding more and more, and you can get different products.
For example,a methyl group by itself, people may not understand. But if people add a methyl group to a hydroxyl group, you get methanol. Now, people [inaudible 00:07:59] I’ve heard of methanol. Well, we’ve all heard of ethanol. And summertime comes and we want to barbecue, we’re using propane. Well, propane is three methyl groups put together [silence] and another oxygen put together.
So I often call methyl the “key to life”, because like any key, put it in the ignition of the car and you turn it, it goes, turn it the other direction direction, you turn it off. That’s what methyl groups do. They turn on entire systems within the entire human body.
Methyl is what I call the key to life. It unlocks and turns on many systems involving anything from enzyme activity to hormonal activity to neurotransmitter activity.
Many people don’t understand that just because you may see normal levels of serotonin, dopamine or norepinephrine on a certain test, it doesn’t mean they’re active. You got to know that methyl actually turns on those neurotransmitters.
So for us, we don’t even do neurotransmitter testing. We check levels of methyl because if the neurotransmitters are there and we don’t have enough methyl, we know the neurotransmitters aren’t doing their job. They can’t. If we have more than enough methyl, we might recognize that the neurotransmitters are being overactive.
So that’s why we focus on methylation. Methylation is the process by which methyl groups are added onto different enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters.
So what’s the key is that is let’s say you want to detoxify your system. Well, you can have all the enzymes present for detox. But once again, if you don’t have enough methyl to turn on those enzymes, not a whole lot is going to happen.
So that’s one of the key reasons why we focus so much on methylation. But more importantly – thanks to Dr. William Walsh and a lot of great people doing tremendous work in our genetic and molecular biological analysis – we’re understanding that methylation is actually key literally at the time of conception.
Here’s one for you. Literally, in the first micro-second after conception, there are processes involving methylation, demethylation (that is the removal of the methyl group), and then remethylation. That sequence of events happens 12 million times in one second.
Now imagine what happens if you don’t have enough methyl. That’s like saying you want to try to build a house, but you don’t have enough wood. You build a frame, but there’s no substance.
The future you that is supposed to be the most prominent, wonderful being on the planet is not going to be built properly because you didn’t have enough bricks or the blueprint design that was originally you.
And that’s what we see in the long run years later. It shows up as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, or even at birth, autism.
Methylation is a very, very key construct in many emotional or psychological or brain development disorders. We’re also seeing challenges involving methylation even in cancer, but that’s a whole other topic.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. I was really blown away when I was reading on your website, the symptoms for undermethylation and I identify with many, many of those symptoms. My own daughter was born autistic. She’s better now. I think she’s¬—I don’t say in remission, but she doesn’t have autism anymore. I feel like part of the reason as a mother, I was under-methylating. And that affected my child when they were born.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Well, it’s not always a maternal transmission. It’s a combination between—I don’t even usually say parents because the model of epigenetics we see is coming from entire family lineages. Things may skip several generations in terms of methylation, and land on your child from both sides of the family.
So yes, it may be maternal, it may be paternal. Many fathers we’re seeing are very key in unfortunately most of the pathology we see in their children, simply biochemically speaking and from a molecular biology perspective.
So there are the parental contributions, but it’s a shooting game here. It can be not even involving either parents, but grandparents or great grandparents or even aunts or uncles.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. And so, how does stress affect methylation? That’s very key in how our bodies. Our bodies are very, very much affected by stress. Can you explain how that impacts our ability to methylate?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Absolutely! This is a multi-step phenomenon. And let’s just start with something very, very benign like the concept of zinc. It’s a beautiful metal. It’s very, very important in multiple systems in our bodies, anything from immunity to growth and hair development, physical growth in the body, emotional stability, involving neurotransmitter development. All these things require zinc.
Now, when a stressful event or stressful situation is present, zinc is utilized quite rapidly. But at the same time, if you don’t have zinc, it’s actually going to inhibit methylation processes. And if you don’t have methylation processes occurring properly, that’s where many conditions—and we focus on mostly psychological conditions or psychiatric conditions – many of these conditions now begin to manifest.
So what many people will see and most people know, you see stressed out individuals, someone you know is just always stressed and always stressed. One of the things you also see is that many times, they’re often times very sickly individuals. These are folks that always have colds, they always have flus and ultimately, they seem very depressed all the time. Well, zinc is a key modulator in all those things.
But at the same time, without appropriate levels of zinc, now what you get is you have problems detoxifying your system. You become weaker, emotionally labile. And then, when it comes to methylation, anything that involves methyl can be challenged because of deficiencies in some of these stress molecules.
If you’re under stress, zinc is certainly a good thing to take. I think the rest of the world is catching up to that because we look at the shelves at the stores, we see Zicab, we see EZ. Anything for a cold usually involves zinc now over the counter.
So a very, very important molecule, but the thing is that if you’re under stress, ultimately it will affect methylation to some degree or another – sometimes by a direct mechanism, but quite often by indirect mechanisms.
Wendy Myers: And so let’s talk a little bit about how methylation directly affects our ability to detox because there are some people that if they are not methylating correctly, that if they start doing a detox, if they start doing infrared saunas or any kind of detoxification, can that negatively impact them – you know, how these methyl groups that attach to the metals or chemicals that take them out of the body?
Dr. Albert Mensah: One of the things I want to say is that methylation is a process that typically doesn’t vary a whole lot starting from birth. You’re born either normally methylating, an undermethylator or an overmethylator. Now most people who walk in the planet actually are normally methylating individuals.
How do we know that? We can actually measure concentrations of methyl. There’s an indirect relationship between histamine and methylation. So we see individuals who are, for example, high in histamine. they tend to be low in methyl. And when they are high in methyl, they tend to be low in histamine. So we can actually measure indirectly concentrations of methyl.
So that actually tells us if all the different enzymes—there are tons of enzymes involved with the methylation process, those are involved in overmethylation. They are at war. But the sum total, the end product of that battle is your total concentration of methyl. So we use that inverse relationship to measure the end product of the methylation process.
So many people are actually, from our perspective, incorrectly trying to assess a certain enzyme’s activity and trying to guesstimate what the methylation cycle is doing. They’re not evaluating the total concentration of methyl. That’s what really determines if your system is working properly, how much methyl you have at the end of the day so to speak.
So when we look at that piece, now we see undermethylation, overmethylation or normal methylators. The detoxification mechanisms are probably functioning fairly well as far as the methylation aspect is concerned. However, there are other elements that come into play that can [inaudible 00:17:33] mechanisms even more significantly that are tangentially related to methylation.
So for example, this is now January. We’ve all been through the holidays starting around Thanksgiving. Many of us are gaining weight, increasing in girth, just totally, totally trying to undo what it is that we did over the past couple of months. And so we decided we want to go on a detox.
But now, here’s the problem. Many people will use a juice detox, for example. Many people use a vegetable detox. Many people use a lot of mechanisms for that detoxification process. One of the key things you first have to understand is who you are biochemically and how the wrong detox mechanism can affect you psychologically and psychiatrically.
People who are overmethylation, these are great people who can go through vegetable juice detox in a very, very efficient and effective passion. They’re going to feel great. But people who are undermethylation, because of the high concentrations of folic acid in many of these vegetable juices, these individuals may actually come out feeling worse than when they started.
So one of the key things is to really understand who you are biochemically first (are you an undermethylator, an overmethylator, or normal methylator?) in order to help determine which type of detoxification you would like to go through and which one would be most beneficial for you as opposed to actually creating the wrong phenomenon where you feel actually worse than you do better.
But that’s where, in actuality, there’s a marriage. It’s not about are you methylating or not methylating properly. The question is who you are to begin with. You have to marry the process to actually who you are, benefit for detoxification.
So if you first understand, “Hey, I’m an undermethylator. Well, I got to choose something that’s actually going to work better for me than an absolute green vegetable detox,” maybe more juice-oriented, maybe other types of detoxification that you need to go through.
So first, we start with the analysis of who you are as far as methylation is concerned. Not difficult. It doesn’t even involve genetic testing. A very simple blood test, a whole blood histamine can tell you who you are. But you need to have a skilled practitioner evaluating that information.
Then the next step is let’s chose the detox method that’s going to be best for you. So starting from the beginning, you’ll really know if you’ve got challenges with regard to methylation or not. For the most part, methylation stays fairly consistent throughout life. If you started out as an undermethylator, you’re pretty much going to be that way.
It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to be proficient. We can do things as far as molecular biology is concerned, diet, et cetera, that can help you ring up your methylation to an appropriate point, so that you’re functioning much better. So you don’t have to live with the challenges of being either undermethylator or an overmethylator.
The interesting thing is that you don’t lose the good characteristics that come with either- under or over methylation with appropriate treatment. You keep the good stuff. The good parts, the personality issues are kept wonderful. It’s the bad stuff, the more challenging things that we help to shift.
So as far as detox is concerned, it’s actually a very complicated issue. But I think the very first place to begin is biochemically. And then, you can start to look at the different detox mechanisms and where you fit into that puzzle.
Wendy Myers: What’s nice here is there’s always a workaround. You can’t feel better no matter what status you’re at. So let’s talk about overmethylation…
Dr. Albert Mensah: I’m sorry.
Wendy Myers: Let’s talk about over-methylating. What symptoms would one have if they’re overmethylating?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Let’s talk about the personality characteristics of an overmethylator first. These are individuals who tend to be very, very creative people. They tend to be musicians, artists, philosophers, poets, theater individuals, actors. Many folks who are overmethylator have extreme capacity for tremendous outside-of-the-box thinking, shall we say.
They tend to do extremely well, but these are folks who, as many people say, walk to the beat of their own drum. They don’t walk in the same ways as everyone else. They are the trailblazers. They go out there, and they do different things their way. They can be very, very intelligent and very passionate. But they tend to channel that passion into one direct area. Whereas with the undermethylation, they tend to be driven to simply succeed and excel in all areas of life.
With overmethylator, the challenges are the ruminations, thought disorders, depression and anxiety can all be there. These individuals, when they get into trouble, they may seek help through non-legal means, drug usage, et cetera. But the reason they’re doing it – and here’s the neurotransmitter correlate to all of this—neurotransmitter activity in overmethylators tends to be extremely high.
Remember we talked about earlier, we said that, “If you have lots and lots of methyl, you may be constantly activating your neurotransmitters.” So in the mind of an ove-methylator, their brain – they’ll tell you – it just doesn’t shut off. They constantly ruminate. They’re always thinking. They’re always philosophizing. They just can’t shut it off.
So it can be very difficult for them, because they may not be able to let a topic go or a subject go or a challenge go. They cannot move on very easily in many cases.
So this can be very difficult for people from an emotional perspective or psychological perspective. If you’ve got a series of things that need to get done, but you can’t get passed the problems of level one, it’s going to be hard for you to succeed in any environment, in any situation. That’s in the extreme side of overmethylation.
The anxiety and the depression that happen with these folks can be so overwhelmingly—I call it like a whole body experience of woefulness. They just feel a tremendously, deeply within their soul. And life is so miserable that these folks are the high risks for horrible things, as far as suicidal behavior or homicidal activity. So in the extremes—and that’s where we’re talking about, the extremes – in the extremes, this can be a very, very difficult and challenging phenomenon.
On the positive side, like I said, the world is colored by overmethylators. What we see in the arts, in the music industry, et cetera, all these folks, many of them are actually overmethylators. So there are good sides and there are some challenging sides to be over-methylating.
What’s very difficult for most overmethylators is the capacity to slow down, settle down and be able to just rest to get a good night sleep. That can be very difficult for overmethylation as well.
Wendy Myers: So what kind of testing would you do to determine if someone’s an overmethylator? What does their testing profile generally look like?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Actually, it’s very simple. As far as the pure methylation construct is concerned, we currently use a whole blood histamine analysis. One test actually can tell us if somebody’s an overmethylator or an undermethylator without the complications of the attempts of genetic analysis. It’s very, very simple. Functionally speaking, boom, we’re done.
Wendy Myers: Yeah.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Then we can actually talk about not just how to treat from a nutrient-perspective, but even which diets may be extremely beneficial for you and which ones may be extremely detrimental for you.
Diet plans are not all created equal. Depending on your methylation status, you’d be surprised what most people think is a great diet to have and how horrible it may actually make you feel emotionally, cognitively and actually be very dysfunctional for you.
So that can be one simple easy test, boom! It lays out the plan for so many areas of your life. It’s a tremendous, tremendous blessing at this point to know that.
Wendy Myers: So let’s talk about undermethylators. What are some of the symptoms one will have if they’re undermethylating?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Ah, you can almost see it from birth. We’ll talk about beyond birth here. Many of these individuals tend to be control freaks that we talk about. We use that term very lightly. These are the folks who [inaudible 00:26:45], look the covers of their houses and the glasses are lined up exactly right there on the border of the cupboard. Everything has to have its place, everything has to have order, everything is a very structured environment. These people are usually very high-achieving.
All of our Ds—I call them the Ds, the MDs, the JDs, the PhDs, the educational doctorates, teachers, high-pressure sales people, IT people, and computer people, many of these individuals are undermethylatprs. They are very, very analytical in many ways, shapes and forms. They are structured individuals with a definite plan. And they don’t do well when things deviate from that plan.
I [inaudible 00:27:34] around town. Now, that’s actually not a bad thing because once again, who makes the rules, who runs the world in many ways, shapes and forms? It’s people who got to have order. You want those people around. You want undermethylators around you. You want overmethylators around. That’s what makes our world balanced and happy.
Now, the challenges with undermethylation, however, these individuals can also be extremely susceptible to anxiety, extremely susceptible. When they have depression, it’s a different kind of depression than the overmethylated depression. They may be somewhat functional but it’s still very, very difficult. But it’s not the whole body embodiment that you see in overmethylation. It’s one of almost cognitive cerebral understanding and analysis of a process that they can’t quite put their fingers on. They’re trying to logically move through why the depression is there, but they can’t get to it. The fact is that they become extremely susceptible to both anxiety and depression.
They typically are not the ones who will commit suicide or homicide. One of the most important things about this concept of overmethylation and undermethylation, especially in the world of medicine and psychiatry, is that the knowledge of who’s an overmethylator will actually help you understand who is more susceptible to the toxic negative effects of pharmaceutical medication.
Most people who are undermethylation tend to do very well with medications that are psychiatrically prescribed. Many of our SSRIs, many of our atypical anti-psychotics, undermethylators tend to do very well with those. But the overmethylation tend to be individuals who may be a lot more susceptible to the negative side-effects, which are mostly depression or even suicidal or homicidal behaviors.
So the key is understanding your methylation status. For the doctor, it helps them choose which medications, if any, might be best for them at that acute particular stage if there’s not enough time to allow a good nutrient or therapeutic program to take place.
Wendy Myers: You described me to a T with the undermethylating. I know I’m an undermethylator, but I want to do testing really soon. Actually, I want to come to your clinic in Los Angeles pretty soon, and do the whole battery of testing myself. I’m very, very intrigued.
Dr. Albert Mensah: We’d love to have you. We’d love to have you.
Wendy. Myers: Yeah. So what kind of treatment approach do you take, let’s say, for an undermethylator? I know you can’t comment. I know it’s a very complex process taking someone’s symptoms and testing into account. But just in general, what kind of treatment approach would you take for undermethylators so to speak?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Well, we use basically nutrient therapy to treat anyone based upon their methylation status. And I want to clarify. There’s a difference between nutrition and nutrient therapy.
Nutrient therapy involves very, very calculated high concentrations of very specific nutrient elements, such as zinc or vitamin B6 or whatever it is you’re going to use in order to affect change. Now, this change is not just about neurotransmitters. Now, we’re understanding we’re actually affecting DNA. We’re actually affecting protein production. We’re affecting protein and enzymatic systems.
For that, you got to have a thorough understanding of truly pharmacology, molecular biology, genetics, all those things we’ve talked about. You need to have a very strong skilled practitioner in order to do this. This is not something you want to try to do on your own.
I have talked to so many people who say, “Well, I read that zinc was good, and I did this and that.”And I said, “You know what you did? You actually activated detoxification mechanisms that now cause your depression to get worse. You can’t do that by yourself. That’s number one. That’s the key thing. You have to have a skilled practitioner.
But the tools that we’re really using are the tools that the body and the mind are pretty much using simultaneously. For the most part of these are elements that multi-task. The system is beautiful that way. The more I study it, the more amazed I am by the system in and of itself. So the key elements are the key regulators of multiple, multiple systems – so things like calcium, things like vitamin D which everyone knows about at this point.
These are just two of the examples of elements that we have to put together in order to make sure that certain systems will be targeted and shifted in the right direction, in order to affect the changes necessary throughout the mind and throughout the body.
First things first though. Number one, I said earlier, you’ve got to know who you are. You got to see what your chemistry is showing us at this time, so that we could put together a nutrient prescription to treat that aberrant chemistry, that chemistry that is off, those elements that are out of synchrony, those elements that may be in short notice, or those elements that are too high and are now at toxic levels. We can regulate those elements with a good nutrient protocol.
So what we really do is we put together a prescription for life, a prescription for strength, and a prescription for well-being. And that’s down through nutrient therapy basically.
Wendy Myers: And do you any kind of treatment approach where you do things in priority where you’re trying to correct neurotransmitters or the guts or methylation status? What kind of approach do you use in that regard as far as priority is concerned?
Dr. Albert Mensah: The answer I want to give you is yes, meaning all of them at the same time. There is no one priority, except for this. If you’re treating the gut and leaving the brain out of the picture, you’re moving in the wrong direction, bottomline.
Both are connected and you need to work on both simultaneously. And it depends on the patient. Now, that’s a lack of statement I’ll give you, but in truth, certain patients may have a true gut issue that is the primary cause and it’s not so much something that’s elemental in the brain. But for the most part, both have to be assessed simultaneously.
So we don’t just do methylation at one point in time, and then worry about detoxification, and then worry about inflammation, and then worry about— no, we do everything all at the same time.
Your systems are interconnected. It’s like if you try to wait to fix one domino while the other dominoes are spreading all over the place and creating more of a wreck, then you’re going to lose the battle. And people need to feel better as soon as they can. You’re not going to do that by just waiting six or seven or eight or nine months to finish a methylation issue while their bowel dysfunction is causing them tremendous emotional distress, while their inflammation and yeast toxicities are building up and toxins are building up all over the place, which is further worsening their anxiety.
So multiple systems are interlocked. They are related, and they all have to be dealt with simultaneously.
Wendy Myers: So how do minerals affect the methylation? Can you talk a little bit about how copper and other minerals can impact methylation and how that needs to be looked at?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Once again, there are parallel systems and there are interlocking systems. Indirectly, what copper can do is that can actually chelate or tie up very helpful elements in the system that are necessary in support of methylation.
So for example [inaudible 00:35:37] everyone should just go around, wearing a big Z on their chest instead of S’s because zinc is just that huge. But copper can tie up zinc. And if you don’t have enough zinc onboard, all those mechanisms that involve literally DNA processes and shifting and protein production become very challenged. So anything that is a toxifying agent in high concentrations can start a domino process going that will ultimately tip over and inhibit methylation processes or inappropriately stimulate them in the wrong direction.
So elements, for example like folic acid. Folic acid in an undermethylator is a big problem, because it actually strips you of methyl at the level of DNA. DNA level is in the nucleus of the cell where all the instructions are made.
Now that same folic acid works differently outside the nucleus of the cell. There, it actually gives lots of methyl into the system. What many people, what many practitioners don’t understand is this role of duality of folic acid. In one area, it’s a donor of methyl.
So for an undermethylator, they think if you give folic acid, that’s a great thing. In actuality, that’s not correct because in the nucleus where we’re trying to affect change, where the command center is, folic acid removes methyl. So that can inhibit any detoxification process.
And where do we find lots of folic acid? In dark green leafy vegetables, in soy, in lutein, in satay, different proteins along those lines can be rich in folic acid. Many of our enriched foods, our breads, our orange juices, cereals, much of that not only [inaudible 00:37:35].
So if you are an undermethylator, and most people with challenges could be undermethylators, we’re being surrounded by dietary food stuff that actually worsens problems of anxiety and depression. So this is how the domino effect works.
Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, the wrong ones can simply have the wrong effect. It can worsen methylation and can give methylation a challenge here as opposed to actually supporting them. What is good for one part of the system may be exactly diametrically opposed and problematic for another part of the system.
Wendy Myers: So are you saying that eating Brussels sprouts can negatively impact your methyl if you’re an undermethylator? Should it be avoided? I don’t have a problem with that.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Every little boy – I like to use little boys as example – they often can’t stand Brussels sprouts or other vegetables. And if these people are undermethylation with cognitive challenges (I’m not talking about people just getting around pretty well in life), but if they have challenges involving anxiety and depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, any of those things, then in actuality, yes.
This food stuff, not that they should be avoided, but they should be minimized. They should not have large concentrations of these things.
Quite honestly, these are the individuals who really should not live a life of strict vegetarianism. For them, for the undermethylators with cognitive disorders– I don’t want to be mailed e-mails from people who say, “Are you saying that vegetarianism is bad?” No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying first knowing your chemistry. And if you’re somebody who suffers from depression or anxiety or some other cognitive disorder, then you got to start watching your piece of cubes. You can’t lead an extreme lifestyle in one direction or another.
But yes, high concentrations of elements that contain large amounts of folic acid can make you worse. And that’s not about philosophy, that’s just the science of it.
Wendy Myers: Are there any nutrients that make overmethylators worse?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Actually, yes, there are. Here’s the interesting thing. For the carnivores out there (we could eat time in this conversation), those who just have to have their meat, the meat eaters, “I like my steak. I like my steak with eggs,” the problem is that they contain high amounts of methionine which is an awesome donor of methyl.
If you’re an overmethylator, the last thing you really need is more, more, more methyl. Here’s where vegetarianism can actually be extremely beneficial. In the worst case scenario, a more Paleo-based diet might be more beneficial.
For overmethylators, they need to stay away from high concentrations of elements or food stuff that donate methyl into the system. They’ve already got enough. They’re ruminating. They can’t get to sleep. They can’t stop thinking. They need to have a little bit of the protein, but not be the extreme carnivore where three quarters of your plate is all protein and maybe one-tenth of an inch is vegetable. That ratio should be reversed.
For them, lots of folic acid is actually beneficial. They got to remove that methyl from the system. They do well on diets that are more vegetarian-based or once again, more heavily vegetable-based in a Paleo kind of environment.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Sorry, I have some construction going on, if you guys can hear banging and whatnot.
Wendy Myers: So let’s talk a little bit more about copper. Copper dysregulation, I think, is a huge, huge issue with so many people. Can you talk a little bit about the nature of copper dysregulation and what causes it?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Okay. There are actually some reasons why anyone can be copper-toxic. And I want to discuss males and females, and then I want to talk most specifically about females.
First of all, the detox mechanism, everyone’s got detoxification system to help regulate metals in general. Copper is extremely significant because it is the heart of cellular activity and is extremely important in cellular activity.
Copper is not bad. It’s not a bad guy, but anything in toxic levels can become problematic. Copper, by itself, is a neurostimulant. It will actually activate nerve tissue. Now, anything that that nerve is connected to [inaudible 00:42:36] can become problematic. So if the nerve is connected to a muscle, then all of a sudden, you got extreme muscle activation that just doesn’t really stop.
Wendy Myers: That’s involved in pain syndromes, this copper toxicity.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Indeed. And now, you have things like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia. These are all elements where copper can be extremely significant because you’re affecting the nerves that stimulate muscle and then you get tired.
The other side is that copper also affects neurotransmitter production. It actually pushes the conversion of dopamine, that lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling neurotransmitter into that excited neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. So, all that norepinephrine cause the heart to race, it can cause anxiety, it can later cause depression and it can later cause adrenal fatigue. So copper [inaudible 00:43:36].
Now, the detox process, if your detox mechanisms are working properly, you regulate copper in a very normal fashion. But the problem comes in for people who have a poor or dysfunctional regulatory system. They can’t remove that copper. It now builds up, builds up and reaches a threshold point to where now it’s really running rampant like in a blackout where you’ve got people breaking windows and grabbing products and stealing and theft and mayhem. That’s actually what copper does. It runs rampant through multiple systems.
In females, we see a great deal of not only emotional challenges, but actually physical challenges because of copper. One of the reasons is because of estrogen. Estrogen causes copper levels to rise. And it does so because females are designed to bear children.
Well, one of the things that copper does is that it actually helps blood vessels to develop and grow. So if you want to grow a baby, you’ve got to have blood vessels to do it. And in order to have the blood vessels, you got to have copper in good amounts.
So, estrogen causes copper levels to rise to support a pregnancy. But what happens on the mother’s side? Estrogen levels rise, and so does copper. What if you’re a female with a poor detoxification system? What happens when the estrogen levels go down? The copper levels stay the same. Then the next cycle comes along, estrogen levels rise, the copper levels rise. And then, when the estrogen goes down, your copper levels stay the same.
Sequentially, you get higher and higher and higher levels of copper concentration, which now will affect brain capacity, processing, and thinking and make anxiety and depression worse. This is what we see in post-partum depression and in post-partum psychosis.
Many times, you hear the stories about women who have shot their husbands and drowned their children, et cetera. If you notice, most of these women have had multiple children, usually three to four, sometimes even five, before these events have occurred. These women were copper-toxic females who could not get rid of copper, it affected their brain functioning, their nerve-conduction and in actuality caused a huge electrical short-circuiting of mental processes.
Now, many people may say, “I find a hard time believing that” and I say, “Wait a minute. What do we use in wiring in any house, in any apartment building, in any business?” Copper, because it’s a great conductor of electricity and for heat as well. Copper pans, all these chefs don’t have copper pans because it’s a great conductor of heat.
We are electrical, chemical beings. That copper will push electricity into just a very, very poor circuitry, a very bad or dysregulated network of processing.
And so mental processing, thinking, isn’t regular, to make it very simple, in people who are copper-toxic. That’s where the anxiety comes from, the depression comes from, the post partum psychosis, a variety of things on a cognitive level in females. Unfortunately, it’s being pushed by estrogen.
Women, for example, who will start an oral contraceptive pill and all of a sudden they realize they don’t do too well on it emotionally, they get anxious, they get depressed, emotional dysregulated thinking. These women are often women who may have trouble removing the copper. Their detox systems may not be functioning properly.
These are often the same females who have problematic periods, painful menses, fibromyalgia, fibrocystic disorders, ovarian issues—the list goes on. Anywhere there’s estrogen, there’s going to be copper. In many females, they have many troubles including heavy menstrual bleeding, fibroid tumors.
I shudder to think and this is very saddening for me, in all these decades, we didn’t know this. How many women had hysterectomnies because we didn’t know they were copper-toxic? It could have been dealt with. Who knows how many children may have been around today and descendants of children might have been around if it weren’t just the knowledge or the lack of knowledge? So for the females, yes, estrogen is a huge, huge trouble.
Let’s give equal time to the males. Males, even though we don’t have as much estrogen as females do, we do have some level of estrogen. But in males who have a poor detoxification system, once again the copper will build up all the time and it can indeed cause behavioral challenges, impulsivity.
The kids who get very remorseful, but they say, “I couldn’t help myself. I just had to do that. I couldn’t stop myself,” often times, these are copper-toxic males. The unfortunate aspect of this is that these males in the pathological state are also very well-known to the police department locally by the time that they’re 15 or 16 years of age. We’d be amazed at the knowledge of how many individuals who are in prison systems are there really because of a poor detoxification process involving copper.
Many of these are of course multi-factorial scenarios. It is not just one thing or another. We’re finding more and more clues, not just physiologically but also behaviorally in terms of the role of copper and many other elements in the system.
Wendy Myers: That explains why when people are detoxifying, they have a lot of emotional symptoms as well. People just don’t have physical symptoms like headaches and nausea and things like that. They have anxiety. They have depression. All is part of detox.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Correct. When copper is detoxifying — this is the interesting thing. I want to show you that all metals have a different personality. They have a different way they work, they have different half-lives, they have different activation points and deactivation points.
Copper is one of those bad boys that when it is leaving your system, and it leaves the tissues and enters the bloodstream, any copper receptor is going to be limp. So whether that’s on the heart, whether that’s on the brain, wherever it is, it’s going to become active. And that’s why people feel so horrible when they detoxify copper too quickly from the system.
So yes, it can be very, very ugly. It’s usually fairly short-lived. Now, one person’s short-lived may seem like a lifetime for somebody else. That time period is roughly, the way we do it, about three to four weeks.
And that’s only if it’s coming out too quickly. You can indeed control the rate at which elements like copper are removed from the system through detoxification. And that’s extremely important, because believe me, you don’t want somebody or a family member calling you saying, “What did you do to my wife? She is not the same person and…” I’ve had that happened before. So we have to be very careful.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I filled a lot of e-mails from clients that are not happy campers with their detoxing copper, but I think it’s a necessary evil. If you want metals and chemicals out of your body, you’re going to have to deal with a period, a roller coaster, so to speak, of symptoms – usually, the very symptoms you’re trying to get rid of, they’ll have an intensification. It doesn’t feel good when they’re coming out of your body.
Dr. Albert Mensah: And usually, that’s because it’s actually happened too quickly.
Wendy Myers: Yeah.
Dr. Albert Mensah: You do not have to necessarily have these symptoms. But if you have them, you know why you have them. It just needs to be slowed down a bit. You will do a lot better in terms of the adjustment process during detox.
Wendy Myers: Dr. Mensah, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Dr. Albert Mensah: It’s been a pleasure.
Wendy Myers: I really appreciate it. It was such a good podcast with such a wealth of information. I really have to commend you for how you’re practicing medicine. It’s just such a breath of fresh air. It is very frustrating, and I have had clients go to doctor after doctor after doctor, and they’re only getting worse with more of these medications. So I really commend how you are practicing medicine and integrating natural approaches and et cetera in your practice.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Thank you very much. We are trying. There’s got to be a better way, and we don’t rest until we find it. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed to really be the recipient of a great deal of knowledge from those who came before us. So thank you very much. We’ll keep on going and we’ll keep on trying to spread the word. Thank you for spreading the word about all this.
Wendy Myers: Yes. It’s my pleasure. I love it.
Dr. Albert Mensah: So important to people is hope and that’s what you provide. There’s information out there, there are resources out there that people can go to and they’re not just stuck in this quagmire of depression or anxiety or anything else. So congratulations to you. Keep up the good work.
Wendy Myers: Thank you. Why don’t you tell everyone about your clinics? You’ve got several clinics. You also have a certification program. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that?
Dr. Albert Mensah: Well, right now, we’re in the incipient stages of trying to put together a very solid protocol for training doctors here in the United States. We’ve been training doctors abroad. We’ve got 150 doctors trained in Australia in this methodology and they’re all doing well, very, very well. People are very happy.
It is something that because of time constraint, it takes years and years to really become facile with this. So even when we’re looking at training, it’s an ongoing process. So there will be more information as time comes with regards to where we are in that.
But it’s absolutely beneficial. It doesn’t mean we negate what traditional medicine does, but what I call this is the “missing piece”. We put this in the traditional medicine and now we’ve got a comprehensive picture.
So what we do is we call this comprehensive medicine. And for that, we actually have our outreach clinics in Northern and Southern California, in Arizona, in the East Coast, in Maryland. We just had our first one in Florida. That was the most enjoyable, I might say, especially when Chicago is experiencing such a terrible weather.
But we are also looking at future outreach sites which we’ll be putting up later. But we do travel because so few of us actually do this in the medical field and we want to make this available to as many people as possible. So we do have our West Coast and Western outreaches, as well as our East Coast and Eastern. And of course Chicago is our main base.
Wendy Myers: And what cities are they in? You said, Chicago, Maryland.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Yes. We are in or near Annapolis, Maryland, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Northern and Southern California, one near Los Angeles, and the other one is near—gosh, my jargon is so bad in California, I acty have to check. But then, in Scottsdale, Arizona, we also have an outreach.
So those are our main sites that we travel to. Folks can come and meet us there, and we’ll be happy to see them, take care of them and make recommendations for them, and guide them through the process.
I just want to say for any doctors out there, we don’t work against regular medicine. We work into the junction with regular medicine. One of my great joys is actually working as a team with primary doctors to help them understand where some of the challenges may be coming from with their patients, and building a process together to help their patients do better.
So we are the specialists that work together with primary doctors to help get the patient doing better. So I don’t want patients or physicians to think that it’s the one or the other kind of a scenario. This is about a specialist, like you have the cardiologist, like you have your urologist or specialty group. We work with your primary doctor to get the job done.
Wendy Myers: I commend you. I just really want to see more medical practitioners, more doctors practicing nutrient therapy. I think it’s critical. You cannot get a patient better without nutrient therapy.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Our primary goal is to get this into the medical schools.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. When we get them into the medical schools, I think unfortunately, I might just be out of job. I might teach at that board or be halfway so because now, it will be standard training. That’s what’s really needs to happen.
And I think that’s actually what’s going to happen in time. It’s going to be standard training in medical school, as part of the student training as they go along. So we’re very excited for that. Hopefully, that day will come very soon.
Wendy Myers: Thank you so much, Dr. Mensah. I really appreciate you coming on the show, and taking your time. I know you’re very, very busy.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Thank you very much for allowing us to be a part of all of the good work you do.
Wendy Myers: Thank you so much.
Dr. Albert Mensah: Take care.
Wendy Myers: If you’d like to learn more about detoxification and how to heal your health conditions naturally and about my version of Paleo, The Modern Paleo Diet, go to myersdetox.com. You can learn all about my healing and detox program called Mineral Power at MineralPower.com.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I would so appreciate you taking two minutes to give me a review in iTunes, give me a review and rating. That helps me to get up in that search engines so that I can help as many people as possible and get that word out on health and teach people how to live healthier lives.
That’s my goal, and that’s why I do this podcast. That’s my only hope, it is that you guys can learn. And if you only take one thing away from this podcast to help you improve your life, it was totally worth it.
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