Friday, January 13, 2012

Heart Disease and Homocysteine

Are you aware that one of the most important indicators of heart disease is homocysteine? -1
A naturally occurring amino acid in your body, homocysteine can cause inflammation and damage to your blood vessels when levels become elevated because of a functional deficiency of B vitamins and Folic Acid. -2
Every week we read or hear about heart disease being one of the biggest health concerns facing America today. Most people have experienced this problem because they know a friend or family member with one of these health problems.
In many cases, they may be facing one of these conditions themselves.
Would it be fair to say you really want to take control of and improve your health?
All it takes is a special blood test (just like a test for cholesterol levels), to measure the level of homocysteine in your blood. It is NOT a routine test so do yourself a favor and ask your Doctor for the test.
Also this test may not be covered by your insurance – however, because it is so important to your health - get it anyway.
So what is the normal range for homo- cysteine levels? Your level should be under 8, below 7 is even better for your health.
How you can naturally and easily keep your homocysteine levels in the normal range? One can accomplish this with a few supplements and better eating habits for life.
And guess what? You are going to feel better and gain more energy in the process!
The first thing you may want to consider is taking a pharmaceutical grade natural multi-vitamin which contains B vitamins (B2,B6 and B12) and Folic acid 2-3 times a day. Why should I take a vitamin 2-3 times a day you ask? Because the body can only absorb so much nutrition at any one time.
Most quality vitamins will only contain about as much of a certain vitamin and mineral which can be absorbed by your body at one time.
Because the body needs nutrition throughout the day, this is one of the best ways to feed your body what it needs.
Coenzyme Q10 – or CoQ10. Research has shown and proven this to be effective in fighting heart disease: -3
Slows the effects of LDL cholesterol to fight heart disease.
Inhibits formation of free radicals
Replaces natural CoQ10 levels depleted by statin drugs and poor diet.
Next, here are some great natural food sources to keep your homocysteine levels in the normal range.
Vegetable proteins do not raise levels like some meat proteins can so eat plenty of leafy dark green vegetables.
Legumes (beans) of all kinds which are a great source of protein.
Eggs are a great source of protein – (the only protein with all 20 amino acids in the correct ratios for your body) and also a great source of Folic Acid, which helps to control your level of homocysteine.
Great sources of Soy like tofu, soy beverages, soy nuts.
Nuts - in particular - Brazil, walnuts, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts. As well as seeds – like sunflower seeds and flaxseed, which is also high in Folic Acid.
High quality grass fed organic beef, wild game, wild Alaskan salmon and sardines.
Poor quality sources of meat protein can actually raise your level of homocysteine.
So as you have learned, you can naturally and easily help your body avoid one of the factors which leads to heart disease with these proven, simple and low cost methods.
And guess what? Just imagine how you are going to feel better and gain more energy in the process in a short period of time!
1- Physicians Health Study, Milosevic-Tosic M. ,et al. Hyperhomocysteinemia – a risk factor for development of occlusive vascular diseases Med pregl. 2002 Sep-Oct;55(9-10):385-91
2- Hyman, Mark M.D., Liponis, Mark M.D. Ultra-Prevention, The 6-Week Plan that will Make you healthy for life, New York, Scribner, 2003, pgs 43, 50.
3- Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., The CoEnzyme Q10 Phenomenon, McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books,1998