What is homocysteine?
Homocystine is a metabolite of the amino acid methionine.
Metabolite: This mean any substance involve in metabolism. (Whether it be a product of metabolism or as necessary for metabolism)
Methionine: This is a sulfur containing amino acid. When not metabolized properly, allows homocysteine to build up in the blood. Folic acid aids methionine metabolism. When folic acid levels in the body are low, methionine cannot be metabolized properly and levels of another chemical, homocysteine, build up in the blood. High blood homocysteine levels increase risk of heart disease and stroke.
Folic Acid: This is a vitamin of the B complex, found especially in leafy green vegetables, wheat, broccoli, and some nuts.
What happen when homocysteine is high in the blood?
1. At high levels in the blood, it damages the blood vessels, and plaque formation.
- Can also impair the endothelial function, leading to spasm of vessels, poor relaxation and sudden involuntary muscular contraction.
- Also associated with cancer, & Alzheimer’s.
How do we get it?
Some are born with a rare genetic defect of elevated homocysteine and usually die of heart attacks or strokes early in life.
Deficiency of any of 3 vitamins can cause a buildup in the blood:
1. Folic acid; which can be obtained from green leafy vegetables, oranges, beans and brown rice
2. Vitamin B-6; which can be obtained from whole grains, Brewer’s yeast
3. Vitamin B-12; which can be obtained from Aloe-Vera or from germs formed in mouth, colon, etc.
How risky is elevated homocysteine?
In the Framingham Study, those who had levels of 15 or above were 3 times as likely to have a heart attack, compared to those who had 9 or below.
One cup of coffee, tea, or cola may raise the diastolic and systolic blood pressure five to six points, raise homocysteine, cholesterol, stress.