Issues

Homocysteine

"Elevated homocysteine levels have been confirmed as an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and are implicated in a number of other vascular, neuropsychiatric, renal, skeletal, perinatal, and endocrine diseases. Supplementation with the nutrient cofactors required for optimal functioning of the methionine/homocysteine metabolic pathways significantly impacts homocysteine levels, and offers a new integrated possibility for primary prevention. Betaine, vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin B6 assist in optimizing methyl and sulfur group metabolism and their use might play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of a wide array of clinical conditions."
Alan L. Miller, N.D. and Gregory S. Kelly, N.D.
Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 4, July 1997


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Nutrition Heart Disease Link: More Than Cholesterol
by Joseph A. Debé, D.C.
"Homocysteine is a toxic amino acid that is formed as part of normal metabolism from the amino acid methionine. When homocysteine levels rise, vascular damage occurs. This damage to the lining of blood vessels plays a role in the formation of plaques and the whole atherosclerotic process. The body has ways of converting homocysteine into other, innocuous compounds. Folic acid, vitamins B12 and B6, and betaine all can help to lower homocysteine levels. A recent study found that heavy coffee consumption was associated with higher levels of homocysteine."

Homocysteine: A New Risk Factor for Atherosclerosis
by Patrcia C. Fallest-Strobl, Ph.D., et al.
from the American Academy of Family Physicians
Technical article for doctors

Homocysteine and Heart Disease
from NutritionFocus.com
Summarizes several articles.

Interview with Kilmer McCully, M.D.,
by Gloria Bucco
"Thirty years ago, Kilmer McCully, M.D., discovered that cholesterol and clogged arteries are not the causes but rather the symptoms of heart disease. McCully's pioneering 1969 theory that linked homocysteine—an amino acid that accumulates in the blood—and heart disease was not embraced by the medical community. In fact, he was banished from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital and denied a new position for more than two years because of his research."

Life Extension Foundation

Homocysteine
Abstracts of Articles

The Resurrection of Kilmer McCully
by Terri Mitchell
Interview

CAUSES/RISK FACTORS/PREVENTION

Homocysteine's Role in Heart Disease
from HeartInfo.org
"Doctors have found that sometimes premature cardiovascular disease and development of life-threatening blood clots happen in many patients who do not have the usual risk factors, such as hypertension, smoking, or high cholesterol. Recent studies have implicated high levels of an amino acid called homocysteine as an additional risk that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease in these or any other individual."

Vegetarian Diet and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
from HeartInfo.org
"Elevated homocysteine levels have recently been found to increase risk for CVD. Dietary consumption of folate, found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables and legumes, reduces blood levels of homocysteine. Vegetarians consume approximately 50 percent more folate than omnivores, possibly helping decrease overall CVD risk."

Homocysteine and the Complications of Pregnancy
by Alan L. Miller, N.D. and Gregory S. Kelly, N.D.
Technical article.

High Homocysteine Levels May Double Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease
from the National Institutes of Health
"People with elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood had nearly double the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a new report from scientists at Boston University. The findings, in a group of people participating in the long-running Framingham Study, are the first to tie homocysteine levels measured several years before with later diagnosis of AD and other dementias. The report, which appears in the February 14, 2002, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, provides some of the most powerful evidence yet of an association between high plasma homocysteine and later, significant memory loss."

TREATMENTS/THERAPIES

Study: Folic Acid Boost Could Save 50,000 Lives a Year
from CNN.com
"A new study released Wednesday has found that increasing the intake of folic acid could prevent as many as 50,000 deaths a year from cardiovascular disease."
"Folic acid deficiencies have been linked to birth defects of the brain and spine as well as to high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Homocysteine, in turn, has been linked to heart attacks and strokes."

Vitamin B6 and Homocysteine
by Paul Frankel, Ph.D. and Terri Mitchell from Life Extension Foundation
"Homocysteine's relationship to heart disease may explain some things that cholesterol never could. It may even explain the increase in heart disease which has occurred in women over the last two decades. Vitamin B6 helps the body lower levels of homocysteine. A rise in heart disease in women coincides with the use of birth control pills. Birth control pills deplete vitamin B6 and raise levels of homocysteine."

Homocysteine Metabolism: Nutritional Modulation and Impact on Health and Disease
by Alan L. Miller, N.D. and Gregory S. Kelly, N.D.
Detailed.   Recommended.

See Heart Disease on this Web Site.

OTHER RESOURCES

American Heart Association

Ask NOAH about Heart Disease and Stroke

The Homocysteine File from Glenn Tisman, M.D.

Life Extension Foundation


Articles from The New England Journal of Medicine

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Please click on the picture of the book to order

Bob Seth Baum, M.D., The Total Guide to a Healthy Heart: Integrative Strategies for Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease

Robert Crayhon, Ph.D., The Carnitine Miracle: The Supernutrient Program That Promotes High Energy, Fat Burning, Heart Health, Brain Wellness, and Longevity
Robert Fried, Ph.D. and Woodson C. Merrell, M.D., The Arginine Solution: The First Guide to America's New Cardio-Enhancing Supplement

Kilmer McCully, M.D., The Heart Revolution: The B Vitamin Breakthrough That Lowers Homocysteine, Cuts Your Risk of Heart Disease, and Protects Your Health

Richard Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery

 

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