You may know that homocysteine is a serious risk factor for heart disease. You also may know that the best way to beat homocysteine is with vitamin B12. But there is a big mystery surrounding homocysteine and vitamin B12 that doctors have not been able to figure out. Is high homocysteine the underlying problem or is high homocysteine just a marker for hidden B12 deficiency?
Well, the prestigious journal Cardiology has cleared that issue up for us.
The researchers followed 211 patients with heart disease for about four years. They evaluated for recurrent vascular events. The team found that high homocysteine significantly raised their risk of vascular death. But low vitamin B12 did not carry any vascular risk. These findings suggest that homocysteine should be evaluated as an independent risk factor for vascular disease.
I agree. If you have vascular disease, please get your homocysteine level checked. A high homocysteine level can cause a more than twofold increase in vascular risk. Even though they did not connect low vitamin B12 levels to recurrent vascular events, Ill always recommend extra vitamin B12 to lower homocysteine levels. If your homocysteine level is above 10 mcmol/L, you need to treat it with vitamin B12.
Other nutrients, such as vitamin B6, folic acid, betaine, and choline, also will lower your homocysteine. Its not just low B12 levels that contribute to high homocysteine. There are other mechanisms involved.
There are many products on the market that contain most of these nutrients to treat high homocysteine. I also like tocotrienols, a supplement Ill tell you more about real soon. Its a form of vitamin E that can specifically protect against the damage to your neurons by high homocysteine.
Ref: Cardiology, 2007; 107(1): 57-62.