What is Homocysteine?  Homocysteine (HCY) is a tool used by your body to modify protein. Specifically, homocysteine carves up the amino acid methionine into smaller amino acids. Each of these amino acids has important functions. The “leftovers” from this construction project are not thrown away. Instead, your body recombines the debris back into methionine again.

Methionine is the protein that serves as the foundation for all other proteins. It’s like concrete: You can build a small cottage or a large skyscraper on the same concrete foundation. You can build brain cells, heart cells, bone cells, and healthy cells for your entire body on the protein methionine. Homocysteine is responsible for crafting that foundation. While homocysteine is an excellent tool for your body, too much of it can be fatal.

That’s why many people are concerned about their homocysteine levels and what many people may not realize is, it’s in the genes.  There is a common gene defect among people in North America. It is called an MTHFR defect. It allows homocysteine to escape into the bloodstream and literally shred your arteries, causing a stroke; tangle your brain cells causing Alzheimer’s disease; shatter your bones causing osteoporosis; and inflame your heart, causing a heart attack.

Another common genetic defect is MTHFD. It allows homocysteine to run amok inside your cells. This can lead to cell mutations and even cancer.

So what if you check your homocysteine levels and you find out it may be a problem.  Is there a solution?  Supplemental nutrition is very effective in most cases. TriVita’s HCY Guard® was designed specifically for high HCY. One study on TriVita’s HCY Guard found that HCY levels could be reduced by 35% in just 6 weeks!

In fact, if people have a problem with their homocysteine levels, they may not realize it can be caused by genetics but it can also be caused by poor nutrition. When a person has an active genetic defect they require intense nutrition to offset the imbalance caused by the gene mutation.

Vital amines such as the Riboflavin family of B vitamins combine with antioxidants to help reduce the activity of cellular homocysteine. One study found that the specific antioxidant ECGC (the antioxidant found in green tea) stopped the trigger DNMT (an enzyme) from releasing homocysteine inside the cell. People consuming large amounts of ECGC have reduced DNMT and have fewer cases of cancer.

So are you at risk?  Is there a way to tell if you have one of these common disease risks? Yes; one way is to have a genetic test performed. This is usually done by drawing enough blood to collect DNA and submitting this to one of only a few labs in North America that can perform genetic testing. A second way is to have your homocysteine levels tested. This can be performed by most medical laboratories. Ask your doctor to do this test with your annual physical.

Another consideration when checking your homocysteine levels is to look at your own family tree. Does any “first-degree” relative (father, mother, brother, or sister) have any of the conditions attributed to homocysteine? If so, you likely have the gene defect. Does a “second-degree” relative (grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins) have any of the conditions attributed to homocysteine? If so, you may have the gene defect as well.

Did you know nutrient deficiencies can mimic a genetic defect by failing to provide the minimum amount of vital amines necessary to prevent elevated homocysteine? A poor diet, illness, pregnancy, aging, and stress can place you at risk for elevated HCY. Children and adults with asthma and irritable bowel syndrome are at high risk for elevated HCY.

So if you have your homocysteine levels checked and find that you need to lower it, you need to take this seriously.

High HCY in your blood is linked to serious illness. Helping your body reduce high HCY may greatly reduce your risk for serious illness. So what can you do?  Here are several things you can do to help:

* Eat fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants – 5 servings daily for children, 7 servings for women, and 9 servings for men.
* Reduce your stress load.
* Get at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day.
* Supplement your diet with nutrients such as TriVita’s HCY Guard and Energy Now!.
* Defeat stress by nurturing your spirit with healthy relationships and a healthy sense of purpose.

Remember, genes are not fate; you have as much control over your genes (through nutrients and nurturing) as they have over you. Build a healthy foundation for your future by balancing your homocysteine.

Take Control of Your Health

Be sure to have your homocysteine levels tested if:

  • You have a family history of:
    • Heart disease
    • Stroke
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Osteoporosis
    • Cancer
  • You experience gastric disturbances, breathing difficulties, or kidney issues
  • You are over 50
  • You are pregnant
  • You are experiencing high stress levels
  • You eat a poor diet
  • You don’t exercise regularly

If you’re interested in high quality nutritional supplements like the ones mentioned on my blog, you can to go to: www.havingplenty.com.

And if you’re interested in being involved in a Wellness Opportunity, take a look at www.roadmaptowishes.com.

Wishing you much health and wellness


Katherine Smith
TriVita Independent Affiliate Member 13158176