|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. 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.
A 10 to 12 hour fast is typically required. Water is permitted.
High levels indicate:
- Cardiovascular disease especially those associated with atherosclerosis and blood clots.
- Type II Diabetes
- Alzheimer's disease
- Bone weakness and increased risk of breaks.
- Elevations of homocysteine also occur in the rare hereditary disease homocystinuria and in the methylene-tetrahydrofolate-reductase polymorphism genetic traits. 
- Vitamin B12 Blood Test, Serum Folate, Intrinsic Factor Antibody, Cholesterol Panel, hs-CRP, Apolipoprotein A-1, Apolipoprotein B
- Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram
- Mangoni & Jackson (2002)