September 27, 2023


Healthy Life

How It Impacts Your Blood Vessels

4 min read

What’s homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid (a constructing block of protein) that’s produced within the physique.

How is a excessive homocysteine degree dangerous?

Excessive homocysteine ranges within the blood can injury the liner of the arteries. Excessive ranges might also make the blood clot extra simply than it ought to. This could improve the chance of blood vessel blockages. A clot inside your blood vessel is known as a thrombus. A thrombus can journey within the bloodstream. From there, it may well get caught in your:

  • Lungs (known as a pulmonary embolism)
  • Mind (which may trigger a stroke)
  • Coronary heart (which may trigger a coronary heart assault)

Some folks have very excessive ranges of homocysteine. They’re at an elevated danger for coronary heart illness.

What causes a excessive homocysteine degree?

Homocysteine is often turned into different amino acids to be used by the physique. Vitamin B helps your physique use the homocysteine. In case your homocysteine degree is just too excessive, you will not be getting sufficient B nutritional vitamins.


Most individuals who’ve a excessive homocysteine degree don’t get sufficient folate (additionally known as folic acid), vitamin B6, or vitamin B12 of their food regimen. Changing these nutritional vitamins usually helps return the homocysteine degree to regular. Different attainable causes of a excessive homocysteine degree embrace:

  • Low ranges of thyroid hormone
  • Kidney illness
  • Psoriasis
  • Some medicines
  • When the situation is widespread in your loved ones

How is the homocysteine degree measured?

Homocysteine is measured utilizing a easy blood take a look at. Your physician will order the take a look at provided that they believe you’ve gotten excessive ranges. In case your homocysteine degree is just too excessive, you might want to decrease it. That is particularly vital when you have blockages in your blood vessels. Typically your physician might take a watchful ready method. This implies they may monitor your degree intently however not take steps to decrease it. Your physician might do that when you have no different main danger components for heart problems and also you don’t have atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque in your arteries). In case your homocysteine degree will increase additional, it’s possible you’ll have to decrease it.

No research have proven that reducing homocysteine ranges helps scale back strokes, coronary heart assaults, or different cardiovascular circumstances. However a excessive homocysteine degree is a danger for coronary heart illness. So, it’s a good suggestion to decrease it in case you can.

Path to improved well being

How can I decrease a excessive homocysteine degree?

Consuming extra fruit and veggies will help decrease your homocysteine degree. Leafy inexperienced greens resembling spinach are good sources of folate. Different good sources of folate embrace:

  • Many breakfast cereals
  • Fortified grain merchandise
  • Lentils
  • Asparagus
  • Most beans

It’s possible you’ll want to extend the quantity of vitamin B-6 in your food regimen. Meals which are wealthy in vitamin B-6 embrace:

  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Hen

You additionally might have to extend the quantity of vitamin B-12 you eat. Good sources of vitamin B-12 embrace:

  • Dairy merchandise
  • Organ meats (resembling liver)
  • Beef
  • Some forms of fish

Adjusting your food regimen will not be sufficient to decrease your homocysteine degree. If it’s not, your physician might recommend that you just take a folate complement. You may additionally have to take a vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 complement.

Issues to think about

Should you begin taking folate or vitamin B dietary supplements, you need to have your homocysteine degree rechecked after 8 weeks. In case your homocysteine degree stays excessive, your physician might have you ever attempt the next dose. It’s possible you’ll have to have some exams to see when you have one other well being situation that causes excessive homocysteine ranges. When you have had a excessive homocysteine degree, it’s possible you’ll have to have your degree checked extra frequently (2 or 3 occasions a 12 months).

Inquiries to ask your physician

  • What’s inflicting my homocysteine degree to be excessive?
  • May a excessive degree be the signal of one other situation?
  • Can I decrease my homocysteine degree by means of food regimen alone?
  • Ought to I take a complement?
  • Can I ask my physician to verify my homocysteine degree even when I’ve no signs?


National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Homocysteine Test

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This info gives a common overview and should not apply to everybody. Discuss to your loved ones physician to search out out if this info applies to you and to get extra info on this topic.

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