WHY CHECK HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS?
Excess homocysteine in the circulation can damage the lining of arterial walls, making them narrow
and inelastic. Research suggests that a raised homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for
hardening of the arteries, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and other
conditions associated with abnormal blood clotting. Elevated homocysteine is also linked to a
number of other serious medical conditions including depression, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, spontaneous abortion, placental abruption, neural tube defects (spina bifida, cleft palate, etc.), renal failure, and type II diabetes. When homocysteine is elevated it reduces nitric oxide (NO) production, which can increase the risk of hypertension and erectile dysfunction. The synergistic nutrients included in Homocysteine Supreme™ facilitate the efficient metabolism of homocysteine, and prevent toxic levels of homocysteine from accumulating. Homocysteine Supreme™ allows the homocysteine pathway (which begins with methionine) to flow smoothly in any direction, producing its necessary and important end products, including the sulfur-containing amino acids taurine and cysteine and the neurotransmitters epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.
Homocysteine is produced by the demethylation of dietary methionine which comes from
protein-containing foods. It is recycled back into methionine through a pathway that involves
vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin (which remethylates it) and folate. Homocysteine is
simply an intermediate in a very important biochemical pathway. Plasma homocysteine can also
travel another route which involves the passing of sulfur groups (transsulfuration). This is vitamin
B6-dependent and results in the production of cysteine which can convert into glutathione, the
most important antioxidant in the body.
Any roadblock in this pathway can cause homocysteine to elevate. When we intricately study the
biochemistry of the homocysteine pathway we can see that it involves a series of conversions that
require enzymes. Several nutrients, especially B vitamins, are needed for these conversions to
occur.13 Stress can deplete B vitamins, as can many medications.
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