Archive for the ‘homocysteine’ Category

What Is Homocysteine?

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood. Epidemiological studies have shown that too much homocysteine in the blood (plasma) is related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

Other evidence suggests that homocysteine may have an effect on atherosclerosis by damaging the inner lining of arteries and promoting blood clots. However, a direct causal link hasn’t been established.

Plasma homocysteine levels are strongly influenced by diet, as well as by genetic factors. The dietary components with the greatest effects are folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12. Folic acid and other B vitamins help break down homocysteine in the body. Several studies have found that higher blood levels of B vitamins are related, at least partly, to lower concentrations of homocysteine. Other recent evidence shows that low blood levels of folic acid are linked with a higher risk of fatal coronary heart disease and stroke.

from www.AmericanHeartAssociation.com

We now know from the Jupiter study that homocysteine and not cholesterol is the big contributor to heart disease.