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Latest Edit: Iva Lloyd, ND 2017-05-05 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

Homocysteine is a non-protein amino acid that is produced in the body and is believed to contribute to the narrowing and hardening of the arteries which results in decreased blood flow through the affected arteries. Raised homocysteine level is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in major high-risk groups such as CVD sufferers, Non-insulin dependent diabetes, obesity and the elderly.[1] Homocysteine is biosynthesized from methionine or converted into L-Cysteine with the aid of B Vitamins.


  • The production of homocysteine is believed to be a byproduct of consuming excess quantities of meat. It is associated with deficiencies of Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12
  • Effects of high homocysteine results in:
  • endothelial dysfunction
  • arterial intima thickening
  • arterial wall stiffening
  • procoagulation activity
  • Foods high in homocysteine include fatty meat, tuna, liver, cheese, beer and bread.
  • High homocysteine levels indicate inadequate intake of B vitamins.

Patient Preparation

A 10 to 12 hour fast is typically required. Water is permitted.

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

Associated Tests


  1. Mangoni & Jackson (2002)
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homocysteine