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The simple question is, have you ever heard of or ever has recommended someone to check their homocysteine levels?
It is normal not to. But if you say that a substance can be as or more dangerous than cholesterol, and responsible for at least 15% of all heart attacks and strokes? Maybe there already change in interest.

What is homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an intermediate by-product produced when the body metabolizes (breaksdown) meteonine, an essential amino acid.

There is a high level of meteonine in the following products:

• Beef
• Eggs
• Milk
• Cheese
• White flour
• Canned Food
• Highly processed foods

The meteonina then transforms to homocysteine that are in turn is decomposed into cysteine or turns again meteonina. Both substances are benign and essential to life.

For these processes to occur, you need a regular intake of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12. Deficiency of these compounds produces an increase in values of homocysteine.

Proven theories

Dr. Kilmer McCully’s early career was directed at a condition called homocystinuria. This disease usually attacked children with a genetic defect and were incapable of metabolising meteonina with a high degree of homocysteine.

He concluded that children aged as low as 8 years could die of a heart attack and that their arteries were too thick, comparable to the arteries of an elderly person.

As a result of these studies, Dr. McCully published important work in the 60s and 70s about how important it is to maintain a low level of homocysteine. However, in the late-70s the theories lost their momentum and financing, and were later discredited.

At this same time, a new theory gained emphasis that argued that the most plausible cause for heart attacks would be excess cholesterol. Leaving no room for other theories and large pharmaceutical benefited financially. Cholesterol as a cause, was then consolidated.

In 1990 the homocysteine theory gained new impetus with Dr. Meir Stampfer. Dr. Stampfer who analysed and concluded that even slightly elevated levels of this substance were closely related to a higher risk of having or is likely to develop cardiovascular disease, reaching 3x higher risk of heart attack.

Later the European Concerted Action Project consolidated by a large-scale study, the theory that the greater the amount of homocysteine, the greater the risk of heart attack. Levels before accepted as standard, were now deemed highly dangerous.
It is due to these conclusions that leads to the interesting case that more than half of people who suffer heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels.

Risks of high amounts of Homocysteine

When homocysteine is combined with factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol or smoking, your risk of cardiovascular disease raises exponentially. This conclusion causes scepticism due to the those who support the cholesterol only theory.

High level of homocysteine may cause:

• Coronary artery disease
• Strokes
• Peripheral vascular disease

Vitamins supplements B12, B6 and folic acid is inexpensive and effectively reduce homocysteine levels, however they do not producing sufficient commercial interest to finance studies on this substance. On the other hand there are large scale benefits that have already been gained at the expense of cholesterol.

 Cholesterol → produces hormones and cell shares → homocysteine has no benefit

Levels:

normal laboratory ↔ 5 → 15 micromols / L (micromols per liter of blood)
medical literature → above 7 = dangerous
above 9 = extremely dangerous
presented by doctors → 10 ↔ 11 micromols / L

These levels need to be at least between 4 and 6 micromols / L.

How to reduce homocysteine levels
• Controlling diet and reducing consumption of products with high meteonina. Replace these products for fruit, vegetables or vegetable proteins.

• Provide folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 in adequate proportions for the proper functioning of enzyme systems and their breakdown of homocysteine.

With these supplements, one is able to lower homocysteine levels between 15% ↔ 75%.
Some patients have problems at the level of biochemical processes to reduce this substance, called methylation.

Deficient methylation may indicate:

vitamin deficiency
reduced levels of donor "methyl" which produce essential nutrients to the brain
The lack of these nutrients can cause chronic degenerative diseases

ex. Certain cancers, Alzheimer ...

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