Anyone interested in keeping tabs on their health status will want a routine blood test. A routine blood test can give you a bigger picture of your health, any red flags to keep an eye on, and can show which supplements you should pick up from your favorite vitamin and supplements store. A decent, routine, screening blood test will also test for homocysteine, the main topic of this article.
What is homocysteine? When you think of high homocysteine you should be thinking of some pretty scary problems like blood clots, heart attacks and strokes and brain problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Some studies link high homocysteine during pregnancy to neural tube defects (the part that becomes the brain and spinal cord) and sometimes early stages miscarriage.
Research also indicates that homocysteine interferes with the production of NO or nitric oxide that is essential for things like artery flexibility, blood pressure regulation, erectile tissue function, heart rhythm and other life critical activity. So part of the damage that a higher level of homocysteine leads to is at least in part due to problems with NO in your body.
People with higher homocysteine levels tend to have several of the following:
– Decreased stamina
– Unstable weight
– Frequent physical pains like arthritis, muscle aches and/or headaches
– Frequent colds
– Deteriorating eyesight
– Decreased mental clarity
Factors that can contribute to high homocysteine are:
– Insufficient folate, B6, B12, betaine, B2 and/or magnesium
– High meat and dairy diet
We check homocysteine because it gives us information about the general state of inflammation in the body. People with elevated homocysteine levels are more likely to have problems with their arteries. (Keep in mind that you are only as old as your plumbing!)
Your lab and doctor will tell you that you are OK as long as your homocysteine doesn’t exceed 15 (micro mol/l). Researchers into degenerative diseases tell us that anything over 7 is not acceptable if you want to reduce your risk of those problems listed above.
Homocysteine is not a dietary amino acid in significant quantity but is made from another amino acid, methionine. If you want to know more, you can search for images of methylation pathways. Prepare to have your eyes glaze over from the complexity of even the simplified versions.
But just because the pathways are complex doesn’t mean that we can’t have some valuable take-away lessons.
Next, we’ll discuss how you can lower homocysteine levels through easy life style changes. Find the right supplements for you and your health needs today at OVitaminPro.com! Our helpful staff is always here to help you find what you need to live a healthy lifestyle.
2 thoughts on “Routine Blood Tests & Homocysteine | Part I”
My primary care refuses to test homocysteine, H1C and CRP because they don’t do any treatments for high levels. If these tests indicate problem areas why are they not tested and treated???
Not sure why a trained physician wouldn’t want to check some routine inflammatory markers and of course the H1C for your blood sugar average. If you are in California or Nevada we can facilitate the blood tests for you. In other states you can use Direct Labs and order your own tests. Anyone interested in their health will want to check these values periodically.