Homocysteine (HC) could be a precursor to Heart Disease, blood clots, and strokes. Do you think about developing heart disease, and/or suffering from a life threatening stroke or blood clot? Have there been individuals (family or friends) who have succumbed to any of these health ailments? If so, then its imperative for you to read on. This section reveals what the true definition of (HC), its causes, and the importance if (HC) levels, and is there a genetic component of (HC).

What Are (HC)?

(HC) is a chemical found in the blood that is produced when an amino acid (building block of protein) called methionine is broken down in the body. Everyone has some amount of (HC) may actually cause irritation of the blood vessels. Studies have shown that elevated levels of (HC) may increase risk for blood clots in the veins, referred to as thrombosis, hardening of the arteries (athersclerosis), which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Side Note*

In the earlier 1960’s it was reported that people with a rare genetic condition called homocystinura were proven to develop severe cardiovascular disease in their teens and throughout the 20’s. This condition is characterized as a defective enzyme that causes an accumulation of homocysteine in the blood, resulting in very high levels. These children who have homocystinura led to the discovery that elevated homocysteine levels are a risk factor for developing athersclerosis and blood clots in the arteries and veins.

What Are The Causes Of (HC) Levels?

In some individuals elevated homocysteine levels are caused by a deficiency of B Vitamins and Folate in their diets. High homocysteine levels have been seen in people with psoriasis, low levels of thyroid hormones, kidney disease and certain medications. Other people have a common genetic variant that impairs their ability to process folate.

What Is The Importance Of (HC) Levels?

First of all, (HC) is measured through a routine blood test. Secondly, there are some variations to what is considered an elevated (HC) level. Depending on the laboratory, normal and abnormal values are set, usually a level less than 13u mol/L is considered normal, the level between 13 and 60u mol/L is considered moderately elevated, and a value greater than 60 to 100u mol/l is severely elevated.

It is unclear whether homocysteine itself leads to atherosclerosis and thrombosis or whether the elevation of (HC) is a result of the damage. The most recent studies indicate that (HC) levels doesn’t decrease the risk for atherosclerosis or thrombosis, it maybe that (HC) may just have a neutral effect.

Are There Risks Associated With Elevated (HC) Levels?

An elevated (HC) is potentially linked to an increased risk for developing atherosclerosis, which can lead to coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, and stroke studies show that elevated (HC) levels may have twice as much risk of (CAD) compared to those without a high homocysteine level. This may also be dependant on the (HC) level. For example, in one-study researchers that every 10% elevation in homocysteine, there was nearly the same rise in the risk of (CAD). The time someone has an elevated (HC) may also play a role in the risk.

Can Decreasing (HC) levels decrease the risk for thrombosis and atherosclerosis?

Studies aren’t conclusive about whether (HC) decreases the risk for atherosclerosis and thrombosis. The results, of two studies showed that folic acid and vitamin b complex were successful in lowering (HC) levels no clinical benefits were reflected. The lowering of (HC) levels didn’t result in fewer strokes, versus blood clots, heart attacks. However, many doctors recommend treating (HC) levels because it is still possible that elevated (HC) contributes to the risk for atherosclerosis and thrombosis and lowering its levels are beneficial, elevated (HC) can be lowered.

Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, is all involved in the breakdown of (HC) in the blood. A great source of folate can be found in vegetables, fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Other sources of folate are fortified breads, cereals, lentils, spinach, asparagus, and most beans.

Homocysteine may play an integral factor in heart disease. It may either be the precursor or the by-product of blood vessel damage. As more studies are conducted on (HC), I will update this section.


The information provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis, treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The information is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practioner/ patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well being other than to suggest that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The information and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of this publication based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on information in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher isn’t responsible for errors or omissions.

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