Homocysteine, CVD

How high level of homocysteine is accumulated in the body?

Homocysteine is a kind of amino acid that is produced in the body as a result of methylation process of methionine- another amino acid found mainly in meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts and some vegetables. The metabolism of homocysteine depends upon vitamin derived cofactors such as Vitamin B6 and B12, folic acid and others. Lack of vitamins will cause elevated level of homocysteine that causes vascular damage, neurological complications, congenital defects and cardiovascular disease.

Increased level of homocysteine also known as hyperhomocysteinaemia may not only damage the lining of the arteries but may also cause blood to clot more easily than it should. A simple blood test can help detect the level of homocysteine in the body.

Effects of elevated level of homocysteine

  • Increased risk of CVD
  • Increases risk of blockage of blood vessels
  • May indicate kidney disease


How Test result is interpreted

Once the blood plasma is collected and separated through plasma separation system, level of homocysteine can be checked. The normal level of homocysteine in the blood ranges between 4 and 15 micromoles/liter (µmol/L) with the optimal level between 10 to 12 micromoles/liter. If the level of this amino acid is 15 it indicates a moderate level. 

Based on the level of homocysteine, one can have moderate, intermediate, and severe types as per the following table:-

•        Moderate (15 to 30 µmol/L)

•        Intermediate (30 to 100 µmol/L)

•        Severe (greater than 100 µmol/L)


How to lower Homocysteine level?

 Increasing the intake of vitamin like vitamin B6, B12, folate through the dietary changes and taking Vitamin supplements will lower homocysteine level. Persons with CVD, increased risk of stroke or others should get immediate testing of the same and follow suitable measures to lower this in order to reduce the health risk.