The purpose of this article is to improve your awareness and understanding of a fraction of the body’s digestive function in its application to increasing immune inflammation when digestion becomes challenged, and how a few key digestive metabolites are necessary to detoxify and maintain the body.

Specific immune system challenges when they become chronic, develop into conditions such as arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, acid-reflux, autism, OCD, ADD/ADHD, Asburger’s syndrome, seasonal allergies, pet allergies, chemical sensitivities, menopause symptoms, irritable bowel, eczema, psoriasis, lyme disease, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, brain fog, dementia, MS, Lupus and other more vague yet chronic symptoms with a metabolic and/or immune root.

Your digestive metabolism at its core requires your body to break down protein into simple amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars such as glucose, and fats into simple fatty acids. Also extracted and used in metabolic processes are vitamins and minerals which act as crucial catalysts for key metabolic processes. Digestive enzymes and HCL help break the connections between the amino acids, fatty acids and sugars, cleaving them into single molecules.

When the body becomes inefficient in cleaving proteins, sugars and fats into their simple forms, the essential nutrients cannot easily enter cell receptor sites and a person can suffer cellular mal-nutrition. Cellular function becomes impaired and/or the cell sends signals out to stimulate craving for certain core nutrients. The cascade of impaired cellular metabolism from lack of available core nutrients can affect the body in a number of ways that include but are not limited to the following:

1)     detoxification

2)     hormone synthesis

3)     neurotransmitter synthesis

4)     increasing the growth of pathogens

5)     increased inflammation

6)     immune system interference with metabolic pathways

Methionine comes from plant and animal protein. It is an amino acid that is essential for proper detoxification processes to occur in the body. If your body is challenged in breaking down proteins into simple amino acids, you might find yourself avoiding animal proteins, leaning toward a vegan diet, or eating only certain types of animal protein because of digestive symptoms that develop when you eat too much or the wrong type of protein for your body’s metabolism. Not eating sufficient protein hinders cell regeneration and results in loosing your muscle mass. Not getting enough methyl donors from your protein also hinders your body’s ability to excrete toxins.

Methionine is so important that it is used by the body to assist in excreting estrogens, heavy metals and in helping to regenerate the coating around nerves. However, taking in supplements with methyl donors is not advised unless you understand your body’s ability to detoxify. This complex topic will be the subject of multiple articles to be published on this blog to help empower people to better health and resources.

Immune Matrix has found that with chronic inflammation, the body can develop an immune sensitivity to this amino acid or its metabolites and ultimately impair the body’s ability to excrete estrogens, heavy metals, other endogenous toxins, and its ability to repair cell membranes and nerve function. Patients will have difficulty staying on medications, react to herbs, tinctures, homeopathics, and many foods. They feel as if they have to tip toe through life restricting what they can eat, how often they can eat something and how much of something they can handle before they react to it. These individuals may have genetic challenges in their methylation pathways, have challenging red blood cell metabolism issues making them non-secretors, be non-acetylators and also be toxic! As you can see, multiple layers can present themselves to complicate the picture of why someone cannot process what they take in.

If one develops an immune sensitivity to methionine or its metabolites, it does not completely prevent detoxification but serves as an inhibitor of efficient metabolic function. The degree of ineffectiveness depends upon how involved your immune system is in reacting to methionine and its pathway metabolites. The methionine pathway is very complex and involves the use of B vitamins, hormones, minerals, mineral salts and fatty acids. So now you can see that your body’s ability to break down and digest mineral salts and minerals as well as vitamins and fatty acids directly impacts your body’s ability to methylate.

The more methionine metabolites one is sensitive to, the less efficient the liver is at detoxification. The longer one has suffered from allergies and other immune disorders, the more likely this pathway has become dysfunctional. This pathway is nearly always affected by mercury, lead and aluminum, especially in children on the autism spectrum and those with ADD/ADHD, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and those with environmental chemical sensitivities. Those individuals who are unable to chelate heavy metals or are unable to do any type of home detoxification program also are advised to take that as red flags to suspect having developed issues with your methylation pathway. The less efficient the liver is at this process the more likely you will succumb to a chronic immune disorder, chronic illness from infection due to a weakened toxic immune system, or cancer as a result of free-radical damage to cells from the toxins. Immune Matrix is unique in the country in specializing in the treatment of patients who are severely challenged in their ability to detoxify. However, understanding your body and its key processes are the first step towards knowing where and how to seek assistance.


No drug, herb or supplement can make your body do what it is unable to efficiently metabolize on its own, no matter the cost or its purported effectiveness.  I am sure you have been told by friends or family to take this or that because it worked wonders for them. And you probably know of individuals that took the same product and it did nothing. This is due to the unique detoxification, metabolic and immune system interplay affecting that individual’s ability to benefit from that product. If your immune system interferes with your methylation pathway, you will find that no supplement will help you detoxify. This is a red flag that you need to work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner aware of genetic SNPs affecting methylation, the proper interpretation of metabolic lab findings, the ability to perform a BIA, and immune system evaluation from a metabolic standpoint.

Mineral metabolism is essential to detoxification and to metabolic processes in the body. Key minerals the body needs to fuel detoxification are magnesium, molybdenum, sulfur, zinc, copper, and selenium. Future articles will address the significance and challenges even small amounts of deficiencies or imbalanced ratios in these minerals can cause. Immune Matrix has found clinically speaking that the longer a patient has suffered a chronic illness, especially chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, autism, Asburger’s, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel, migraine, lyme disease, etc. the more likely their immune system is contributing to problems in their metabolic pathways.

A classic example is a sulfur sensitivity. If you have a sulfur sensitivity, your body will be challenged in a dose dependant fashion to digest and metabolize sulfur. High sulfur foods are garlic, onions, egg yolk, eggplant, lamb and dark green leafy vegetables. You may find yourself saying, “oh, I don’t like those” and having a sulfur sensitivity may be why. In small quantities you might not notice any symptoms. However, in larger quantities or if eaten frequently, you might notice that you don’t quite feel as well when you eat these foods or you develop some type of allergic reaction. You either feel tired after eating them, or you could have digestive upsets, nausea, heartburn, shortness of breath, bloating or even diarrhea. In some cases, patients have skin rashes or hives, shortness of breath, or find they are sensitive to sulfur drugs like Septra given for bladder infections common in women. 

Sulfur is very important for the liver to enable it to detoxify. When your body is sensitive to sulfur itself or the forms of sulfur that the body breaks it down into, your liver is unable to use it to bind toxins. Like empty seats on a conveyor belt, you cannot build a working car when a certain percentage of workers are not working on the conveyor belt. The severity of this problem will vary, as will the holes in the sulfur metabolic pathway. Immune Matrix treats patients with their proprietary antigens to re-program their immune system into improving their efficiency in metabolizing these minerals.

As you can now see, the break down of proteins, sugars and fats and the metabolism of minerals and vitamins are core to fueling key metabolic processes that when inefficient or significantly compromised directly lead you toward the development of chronic inflammatory conditions. However, even more important for you as a patient is to know your body, understand its ability to detoxify and take appropriate steps to help your body improve its efficiency to break down AND excrete toxins before starting any chelation program, an aggressive drug therapy, or other therapies that require your body to digest and process herbs, supplements, tinctures and homeopathics. Your health care provider may say to you that you have a heavy metal problem, or you have chronic bacterial issues. However, is your body currently ready to deal with those issues from a metabolic level? Ask those questions from your health care provider and do not assume that your body is a methylator or excretor, or be rushed into a treatment program, as you could hit a wall in your treatment modality, and end up sicker, and this could be the reason.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan