Homocysteine is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. High levels of homocysteine in the body have been linked to an increased risk of various conditions including: cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, pregnancy complications, osteoporosis and diabetes. High levels of homocysteine have also been linked to developmental conditions such as autism and behavioural issues such as poor concentration although the link and relevance is still under investigation.
Relevant to heart health, homocysteine is thought to be able to narrow the lining of the arteries causing blood flow problems and may make blood clot more easily. Research suggests that people who have very high levels which includes other amino acids, methionine and taurine, as well as other important compounds such as of homocysteine are at an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
As with many compounds and functions throughout the body, homocysteine is one part of a metabolic pathway glutathione and S-Adenosyl Methionine.
S-Adenosyl methionine is suggested to be a natural antidepressant, as well as helping protect the body from arthritis, osteoporosis and liver disease.
Glutathione is one of the body’s best detoxifiers through its actions on mopping up free radicals and reducing the effects of oxidative stress. It is with these processes in mind that glutathione has also been suggested to have anti-aging properties.
Taurine is another important antioxidant, associated with lower blood cholesterol, reductions in body weight, and reductions in very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol, which are major risk factors in coronary heart disease. Individuals, who are at risk for a deficiency of L-Taurine, include vegetarians and women of all ages. It is believed that women are more at risk for a L-Taurine deficiency, because of the presence of female hormones that restrict the production of L-Taurine within the body.
Homocysteine tests are provided as standard by many laboratories around the world. Analutos tests for levels of urinary homocysteine but also for all the compounds in the metabolic pathway. Our homocysteine pathway test not only shows if abnormal levels of compounds are present in urine but also by comparing the levels of the various compounds we can find the possible reasons why. These causes are usually low levels of vitamin B6 and B12 or folic acid all of which can easily be treated with supplements.