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What is Homocysteine?

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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
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Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the body. While homocysteine is always present in the body, it can cause problems if it is present in too high of an amount. Found in the blood stream, it is thought to be directly related to a variety of heart-related problems.

If a person has high levels of homocysteine is the body, he or she may suffer from a stroke, coronary heart disease or vascular disease. It is also believed that high levels of this amino acid may contribute to arthrosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. It is important to note that these are just beliefs among medical professionals; they are not exactly sure how homocysteine levels and heart disease are related.

Doctors are sure that managing your homocysteine levels is a good idea. While some people may require medical intervention with prescription drugs, there are several all-natural ways that we can manage these levels on our own. If you are under a doctor’s treatment for heart disease, you should not change your routine without speaking with a physician. The rest of us can benefit from the natural treatment for elevated homocysteine levels whether we have a problem or not.

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Many physicians believe that elevated levels of this amino acid can be treated by adding B vitamins and folic acid to the diet. They are used to break down the amino acid in the body, reducing the level that is in the blood. These vitamins are widely available in fortified foods as well as dark green, leafy vegetables.

Even if you take excellent care of your body, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, homocysteine levels can get out of control. There is a genetic component to these levels, and some people are more predisposed to high levels than others. If you are one of these people, you will need to work with a doctor to develop a plan for lifelong heart health.

In order to have a healthy heart, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, not smoking and reducing our blood pressure and cholesterol if necessary. We are now learning that keeping our homocysteine levels under control are an important part of overall heart health as well. While a healthy diet can help, some people will need to seek treatment from a physician.

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