Tags: Heart Disease | homocysteine test | predict | heart attack

Can Homocysteine Test Predict a Heart Attack?

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 07:11 PM

Many heart attacks come unexpectedly, but there are ways to predict them. You may wonder if having a homocysteine test can predict your risk of heart attack.

Homocysteine is an amino acid found naturally in the blood and is an important building block for proteins.

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Direct Labs summarized the findings of a 1995 panel of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that said elevated levels of homocysteine are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, there is no evidence that lowering homocysteine levels reduces this risk.

Finding out your levels of homocysteine is as easy as getting a simple blood test.

Patrick Holford, one of the world’s leading health and nutrition experts, says a 2008 study published in the British Medical Journal found a homocysteine test is a better predictor of heart attack than more conventional predictors such as smoking, high cholesterol, or hypertension.

Some medical professionals debate that a lifestyle including smoking and uncontrolled cholesterol and blood pressure lead to elevated homocysteine levels. What is clear is that too much homocysteine in the blood does considerable damage to the arteries, which can lead to heart attack.

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Besides damaging the arteries, homocysteine is also believed to oxidize LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, possibly making it more dangerous, and promote the formation of blood clots, says Life Extension.

In adults, homocysteine levels as low as 15 μmol/L are associated with significantly increased risk of heart attack. If you have high homocysteine levels, supplementing vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid will bring the levels down.

Again, there is not sufficient research confirming the benefit of lowering homocysteine levels in the blood. Holford recommends that all adults over the age of 50 have their homocysteine levels checked and, if they are high, he recommends supplements to lower it.

He also recommends making lifestyle changes such as increased exercise and a better diet to help ward off heart attack. It is his belief that lowering homocysteine levels may not reverse heart disease, but doing so will not be harmful.

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Many heart attacks come unexpectedly, but there are ways to predict them. You may wonder if having a homocysteine test can predict your risk of heart attack.
homocysteine test, predict, heart attack
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2016-11-30
Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 07:11 PM
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