Before the weekend we want to give you the new portion of information about diagnostics, in particular one test – homocysteine level. This test has become one of the most popular tests for the past few years and has developed a wide range of fans at doctor’s offices around the globe.
What is so interesting about homocysteine level and what do we use it for? All answers about this popular test can be found below. Take a moment to read about homocysteine and discover that level of cholesterol is not anymore the only one that should be checked if you are afraid of a blood clot or stroke.
What is homocysteine?
To put it briefly –homocysteine is an amino acid and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid produced as part of the body’s methylation process. Homocysteine can be found in blood and is a derivative of protein when body chemistry is out of balance. What is important is that we shall know that homocysteine gets in blood via biosynthesis from methionine and is not obtained from a diet. Methionine though can be found in meat, fish and dairy products. What is more, in order to make the above mentioned reaction occur we need additionally Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.
Why is homocysteine and cysteine important to our body?
Indeed it is cysteine that we need badly. Cysteine is converted from Homocysteine with help of Vitamin B6. Cysteine is another important protein that helps our body to work properly. Cysteine is very much involved in the way proteins within cells are folded, shaped and linked. Cysteine is also a source of sulphide and an important part of metabolism. This includes the metabolism of iron, zinc and copper. When homocysteine cannot be converted into cysteine or return to methionine, then levels of homocysteine increase.
What an elevated homocysteine level means?
If there has been an elevated homocysteine level detected then we can say that it can be associated with heart attack, stroke, and blood clot formation. Elevated homocysteine is an indicator of atherosclerosis and can be a risk factor for many disease such as cardiovascular disease or Alzheimer’s.
Who should test homocysteine level?
First of all we need to ask ourselves if we already has any of the above mentioned diseases developed. If we are not in the risk group (heavy smoker, with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol or diabetes) then the doctor shall order checking of homocysteine levels in blood.
What is more, people with history of mentioned diseases in family shall be checked. Sometimes infant’s blood and urine are checked for elevated homocysteine. Adults who have an early heart attack, stroke, or blood clots shall be also tested.
Can homocysteine level be lowered and what is the treatment?
After taking the test which shows the elevated homocysteine level we should always consult the doctor. Doctor can order additional tests and tell you what can be done to normalise the homocysteine level. Sometimes even diet changes and vitamin supplementation can be enough and can be very effective. The most usually used nutrients that helps lower homocysteine are vitamins B12, B6 and B2, zinc, folate and TMG
How can I test homocysteine?
You can just test your blood and ask for homocysteine test.
You are lucky that Velcure have prepared also a package with diagnostic tests which also includes homocysteine. Please take a look at our proposals and offers HERE and HERE and remember that checking your blood regularly can really save you not only time and money but especially your life.