Homocysteine is an amino acid that contains sulfur that is naturally present in all human beings. It is disintegrated within the body by means of two different metabolic methods. In order to break down homocysteine, a number of certain chemical changes are necessary in the presence of folic acid (also known as folate) and vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. The intensity of homocysteine in the blood stream is affected by the occurrence of the above-mentioned vitamins.
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Although our body always contains homocysteine, when the level of homocysteine is very high in the blood stream, it may result in various problems. Existing in the blood stream, homocysteine is believed to be expressly associated with an assortment of problems related to the heart. For instance, when the blood of an individual has high amounts of homocysteine, he/ she is likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, stroke or any vascular disease. In addition, it is thought that high intensity of this amino acid (homocysteine) may perhaps also add to the stiffening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
However, the doctors are convinced that controlling the homocysteine levels in all individuals is an excellent proposal. Although a number of individuals may need medical involvement using prescription medications, there are many completely natural means that can be adopted to deal with these homocysteine levels in the blood stream that we are able to do ourselves. In case you are undergoing treatment for heart ailment under the supervision of any doctor, you ought to never alter your schedule without consulting your doctor.
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There are several medical practitioners who are of the view that it is possible to treat high levels of homocysteine in the body by including folic acid and B vitamins in the diet. As aforementioned, these substances help in breaking down this amino acid in the body, thereby lowering homocysteine level in the blood stream. In fact, B vitamins are extensively present in fortified foods and also in leafy vegetables having deep green color.
While you may be taking good care of your body, it is essential to consume a healthy diet and, at the same time, exercise on a regular basis. Even if this is done, the level of homocysteine may easily go up in your blood stream. In effect, these levels have a genetic component, and a number of individuals are more prone to have high levels of this amino acid, in comparison to others. In case you are one among such people, you would require sitting with a physician to work out a plan to ensure an enduing good health of your heart.
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If you desire that your heart should always remain healthy, it is vital to sustain a fit weight, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, in case they are high, and also not smoke. Currently, we are gaining knowledge that maintaining the level of homocysteine in our body under control is a vital part of the general good health of our heart too. Although taking a healthy diet is useful in most cases, there are people who would require being treated by a physician to keep their homocysteine levels under control.
People suffering from homocystinuria are actually enduring an unusual genetic disorder that happens in approximately one in every 200,000 people. This is actually a congenital metabolic problem that results in the secretion of huge amounts of homocysteine in the urine. It may be noted that homocystinuria is related to mental impedance as well as the development of heart ailment even before the patient reaches the age of 30 years.
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During the later part of the 1960s, physicians authenticated that people suffering from homocystinuria also endure constriction of the arteries at a very tender age, occasionally in their infancy. While homocystinuria is an unusual ailment, this discovery invigorated scientists to undertakes researches on just in case individuals, who did not suffer from this condition, but have very high amounts of homocysteine in their blood stream, were faced with enhanced risk of suffering a stroke or developing any heart ailment.
It has been documented that increased risk of developing a stroke or any heart ailment depends on several risk aspects, such as obesity, a family history of heart diseases, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), absence of exercises, low amounts of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL or 'good' cholesterol) and high intensity of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or 'bad' cholesterol). In fact, having such a varied range of risk factors, it has been problematic for the scientists in determining if high amounts homocysteine in an individual's blood stream is an autonomous risk aspect for developing any of the diseases mentioned here. Nevertheless, a considerable number of controlled, soundly planned and properly documented researches have demonstrated that people who have high amounts of homocysteine in their blood stream are definitely faced with a higher risk of developing blocked blood vessels - a medical condition called occlusive arterial disease, or face the risk of worsening atherosclerosis (a condition wherein the arteries become rigid).
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It may be noted that high amounts of homocysteine in the blood stream has the aptitude to harm the internal lining of the arteries. Moreover, elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood stream are likely to make blood clotting much easier compared to what should be normally. This aspect may enhance the hazard of blockage of blood vessels. When the blood clots inside a vessel the condition is known as thrombus, which has the aptitude to pass through the blood stream and get attached to your lungs (a medical condition known as embolism), in your brain (a condition that may result in stroke) or in the heart (which may result in a heart attack).
Generally, our body converts homocysteine into other amino acids for use. In case you have a very high level of homocysteine, it is possible that you may not be receiving sufficient B vitamins to facilitate your body to make use of homocysteine in your blood stream.
In effect, majority of individuals having elevated levels of homocysteine actually do not get adequate folate or folic acid and B vitamins, especially vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, in their diet. When these vitamins are replaced, it usually facilitates in resulting in normal homocysteine levels in the blood stream. There are additional potential factors that lead to an elevated level of homocysteine and they include kidney ailments, thyroid hormone, psoriasis, use of specific medications or when the condition is hereditary.
The level of homocysteine in your blood stream can be measured by a simple blood examination. The blood test is so simple that one does not need to prepare him/ her in any special manner.
In the event of your homocysteine level being very high, it is important that you have to take measures to bring it down. This is all the more important if you have any blockage in any of your blood vessels. In case you do not endure atherosclerosis (a medical condition wherein plagues accumulate in the arteries making them rigid) or have any additional main risk factors for cardiovascular ailment, it is likely that your physician will adopt an observant waiting method and closely examine your homocysteine level. In case the homocysteine level rises further, you will have to undergo treatment to bring it down to normal.
Although no research undertaken thus far has suggested that reducing the levels of homocysteine in the blood stream helps in diminishing the risks of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular diseases, it is always a good thing to reduce the amounts of homocysteine in the blood stream, since this amino acid is a menace for heart ailments.
There are a number of things that you can do to lower your homocysteine levels. For instance, consumption of more vegetables (particularly leafy vegetables having a deep green color) and fruits is likely to assist you in reducing the amounts of homocysteine in your blood stream. In effect, several breakfast cereals, lentils, spinach, fortified grain products, asparagus and most varieties of beans are excellent sources of folate.
When your diet does not comprise sufficient vitamin B6, potatoes, fortified breakfast cereals, chicken, garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) may form other excellent sources of this vitamin. In addition, organ meats (for instance, liver), dairy products, beef and specific fish types are excellent resource of vitamin B12, which also aids in lowering homocysteine levels in the blood stream.
If you find that changing your diet is not sufficient in reducing the high amounts of homocysteine in your blood stream, it is likely that your physician will recommend that you also take a folate or folic acid supplement. In addition, there might also be a necessity to take vitamin B6 and B12 supplements.