Homocysteine is the one health statistic that will determine whether you will live long and healthy or die young. High levels of homocysteine are associated with damaged endothelium, increased platelet aggregation and the formation of atherosclerotic lesions.
Homocysteine is a protein in the blood and should present at levels lower than 6. If you don’t follow a diet that ensures optimal health, levels of homocysteine will increase and that will increase your risk for 50 diseases including heart disease, strokes, diabetes, depression and Alzheimer’s.
What is homocysteine?
Homocysteine comes from an amino acid methionine, which is found in dietary protein. Homocysteine is not bad per se, because it is normally turned into two beneficial products like glutathione (antioxidant) and SAMe (good nutrient for body and brain). The problem is when you don’t have enough vitamin B`s the enzymes that turn homocysteine into the beneficial substances cannot take place as it should and the levels rise. Another problem is that there are 1 in 10 people with a gene that make them prone to higher levels of homocysteine.
SAMe – your antioxidant IQ. SAMe will donate a methyl group or accepts a methyl group and thus keep your body’s biochemistry flexible.
What can homocysteine do?
- Can reduce heart attacks and strokes by 75% if you reduce your H-levels from 16 to 6.
- Can reduce cancer risk with 33%. Cancer is triggered by damage to the DNA and if your homocysteine level is high, you make your DNA more prone to damage. Homocysteiene levels rise when tumors grow and will reduce when they shrink.
- Can reduce diabetes risk. Insulin levels rise as soon as you start being overweight. Homocysteine levels rise when insulin levels rise and drop when insulin levels drop.
- Alzheimer’s disease – lowering your homocysteine will reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s because raised homocysteine levels are associated with damage to the brain.
What will increase your homocysteine levels?
- Genes – MTHFR genetic mutations
- Deficiencies: folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 or betaine
- Oestrogen deficiency
- Excessive alcohol, coffee or tea intake
- Lack of exercise
- Bowel diseases like celiac and colitis
- pylori infection – ulcers
- Vegan or vegetarian
- High fat diet, high meat diet and high dairy intake
- High salt intake
- Low progesterone levels
- Kidney disease
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
How to lower homocysteine to less than 6
- Less meat, more omega 3 fish and vegetable protein
- Eat green vegetables everyday – 3 fruits and 3 vegetables
- Eat garlic daily if you can
- Low on salt please – rather use Herbamore
- Cut down on caffeinated drinks – 2 per day
- Limit alcohol intake – four drinks per week – don’t drink everyday
- Reduce stress – learn to meditate – exercise
- Stop smoking
- Progesterone cream when you hit menopause
- Take your supplements daily to lower homocysteine
- Take a homocysteine supplement that contains TMG (trimethyl glycine) – best methyl donor – better than SAMe.
Consult your Integrative Healthcare Specialist and check your most important health statistic “Homocysteine” annually because it is the one health statistic that will determine whether you will live long and healthy or die young or old and sick.
- New Optimum Nutrition Bible – Patrick Holford
- Prescription Alternatives – Earl Mindell
- The SA Journal of Natural medicine
- Herbal Medicine – expanded commission E Monographs
- Genesende Voeding – Dr Willem Serfontein
- Gesondheid vir `n leeftyd – Dr Christiaan
- Men`s Health September 2006
- Lancet 344: 1195-1196, 1994.
- Atherosclerosis reports; 6:477-484, 2004.
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