Marker for heart disease
Most of us know that doctors check cholesterol levels to help prevent heart disease, but did you know your homocysteine level is another significant marker?
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body as part of the methylation process. If that process isn’t working well, homocysteine can accumulate. High levels are associated with cardiovascular disease, as well at Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, low birth weight and certain cancers.
What are the symptoms of high homocysteine? Probably none. The best way to know your level is to have your doctor order a blood test. Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra recommends an optimal level is 7-10 umol/L.
Should you find your levels are higher than that, most doctors recommend a combination of B vitamins, specifically folate, B6 and B12. Sinatra recommends 400-800 mcg of folate, 40 mg vitamin B6 and 200 mcg of vitamin B12. If this does not lower the homocysteine levels, Sinatra recommends using the above vitamins in their methylated form and possibly adding TMG (trimethylglycine) to improve methylation.
Thankfully, you can get all of the above ingredients in one supplement, Pure Encapsulations’ Homocysteine Factors being a perfect example. That way you don’t have to take a lot of pills to protect your heart and brain!