What is Homocysteine and How Do We Control It?

by Integrative Clinical Pharmacist Scott Berliner, RPh

Homocysteine is a necessary metabolite in our bodies, but when the levels are too high or too low they bring increased risk.

When homocysteine is too high, there can be problems with inflammation, with the utilization of B vitamins, and with an essential biochemical pathway in the body called the methylation cycle. The methylation cycle effects mood, energy, detoxification, and memory. Having high levels of a substance called homocysteine is called homocystinemia.

On the other hand, homocysteine that is too low may indicate imbalance in the body’s detoxification system. This can affect memory, energy generation, and mood down the line.

The best time to understand and normalize homocysteine is in the preventive stage before damage is done. It also appears that high levels can affect bone density, increasing fracture risk, especially in the elderly. Homocysteine affects collagen, which is part of the living matrix of the bone. Reducing homocysteine levels can be important for your brain and your bone health.

Along with lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, there are supplements that have been proven to lower homocysteine. Our preferred, high-quality supplement for this is called Homocysteine Supreme. It contains all of the studied components that affect the way out bodies break down homocysteine so we can maintain healthy levels.

Homocysteine does not come from the diet. It is synthesized in our bodies from methionine (contained in food) using a multi-step process. This fundamental, important process is dependent on having the proper raw materials including B vitamins and the all-important “methyl” group. So first, we need to make sure we have enough from the “methyl” group. Homocysteine Supreme supplies methyl-cobolamin, a superior form of B12, as well as trimethylglycine. Both of these are required to make energy properly. Cobolamin is also necessary for proper recycling of homocysteine. Homocysteine Supreme has the preferred amount of bioavailable methylcobolamin (1 mg).

Our bodies use pyridoxine, or B6, as a cofactor to synthesize cysteine, which we do via the homocysteine pathway. Homocysteine Supreme contains not just the basic pyridoxine, but also the enzymatic form, which works more efficiently.

Homocysteine can be changed back into methionine. The process of recycling includes a special form of folic acid called 5-methltetrahydrofolate, which is part of the natural folates, again included in the Homocysteine Supreme formula.

If you have high homocysteine levels on an ongoing basis call 203-863-3615 for an appointment to see if Homocysteine Supreme is right for you and to learn about other changes in lifestyle and diet that could accompany an individualized approach to achieving better health. If you are not sure whether your levels are high or low, please check with Dr. Roca before beginning supplementation on your own.