Homocysteine is an amino acid that functions as an intermediary in many vital body functions. Elevated levels in the blood are however dangerous.
- High blood levels cause the shearing of arteries (including arteries to the brain) due to its effect in degrading and inhibiting structural components of arteries.
- The effect of this is increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart problems, increased risk of degenerating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and increased risk of auto-immune and chronic inflammatory disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There is thus a need when homocysteine levels are high to assist conversion of it through the methionine and folate cycles. Nutrient support can help convert Homocysteine to:
- using phyto-nutrient Betaine in methionine cycle
- using vitamin B12 (especially methyl cobalmine form) in methionine cycle with required use of folic acid (nb not folate) in the folate cycle (folate cycle requires amino acid Glycine)
- Using vitamin B6 in transulfuration pathway
Nutrient support sources:
- Betaine: best from Beets, fish, legumes and whole grains
- Vitamin B12: Best sources are animal foods followed by fish, eggs, meat and cheese. Vegans may find it in nutritional yeast or fermented foods
- Folic acid: Best sources are nutritional yeast, wheat germ, whole beans, green leafy vegetables – name is derived from foliage
- Glycine: Best sources are meat, fish and poultry; eggs and dairy; soy products and beans. Highest in beef, chicken, pork and soy
- Vitamin B6: Best sources are nutritional yeast, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, whole-beans, banana, avocado