The Greatest Factor for Great Health
There is a substance in your blood that most people have never heard of, yet can increase the risk for over fifty diseases. It’s called homocysteine and getting your levels of this substance under control is one of the greatest things you can do for your health.
Nutrition expert Patrick Holford indicates in his book, The New Optimum Nutrition Bible that not only does homocysteine damage arteries, the brain, and genetic material (DNA), it can increase the risk for over fifty diseases, including: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
Homocysteine is a type of protein that is produced by the body and found in the blood. It is ideally found in low levels. Produced from an amino acid called methionine which is found in protein foods in the diet, the body normally turns homocysteine into beneficial substances including: glutathione or S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).
Too much homocysteine can build up in the blood increasing the formation of plaque on blood vessel walls and clogging and hardening of the arteries–atherosclerosis.
Some Risk Factors for High Homocysteine Levels
There are numerous risk factors that can result in high levels of homocysteine, including:
-Genetics—a family history of heard disease, strokes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, or diabetes, or the MTHFR enzyme gene mutation which can increase the amount of homocysteine in the body
-A diet containing less than 900 mcg/day of folate
-Deficiency in estrogen
-Excessive alcohol, coffee, or tea intake
-Lack of exercise
-Hostility and repressed anger
-inflammatory bowel disease like celiac, Crohn’s, or ulcerative colitis
-H. pylori-generated ulcers
-Strict veganism or vegetarianism without sufficient protein or vitamin B-12
-High fat diet with excessive red meat, high-fat dairy intake
-High salt intake
A simple blood test can help you determine whether your levels of homocysteine are high but you don’t have to know this information to start living a lifestyle that helps keep homocysteine levels in check.
How to Reduce Homocysteine in Your Body:
You don’t have to live with high homocysteine levels. It is possible to reduce homocysteine levels—here’s how:
-Eat less fatty meat and more fish and vegetable protein;
-Eat green vegetables and leafy greens which are high in B-complex vitamins, including vitamin B6, B12, and folate;
-Eat whole grains since they are also high in B-complex vitamins;
-Have a clove of garlic a day;
-Don’t add salt to your food or use unrefined sea salt in small amounts;
-Cut back on tea and coffee;
-Limit your alcohol;
-Reduce your stress;
-Correct an estrogen deficiency;
-Supplement with a high strength multivitamin every day; and
-Take homocysteine (-reducing) supplements. In a study published in the journal Stroke, stroke victims who supplemented with vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid for one year experienced a 24% drop in homocysteine levels compared to the placebo group whose homocysteine levels rose slightly.
Here are some of the best homocysteine-reducing supplements:
-Trimethyl glycine (TMG)
Don’t worry: you don’t have to pop a handful of pills to obtain these nutrients. The first four are found in a good B-complex supplement.