Homocysteine and Heart Disease
January 28, 2010 9:01am CST
My step brother is in the hospital. Apparently he had multiple strokes. His heart is pumping at 45% and he has clots in his brain. They called in a cardiologist and neurologist and they say he has Homocysteinemia. From what I've read,it is an amino acid found in blood. It forms when the body breaks down protein. Normally, several enzymes either turn homocysteine back into methionine (another amino acid), which the body uses to build its own proteins, or they break it down for excretion in the urine. Folic Acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are necessary for metabolism of methionine. A number of genes influence how the body uses folate, vitamins B6 and B12, and can predispose to a person to folate deficiency, leading to high levels of homocysteine. What causes damage to body tissues is not clear. It is possible that it damages the delicate cells that line arteries, eventually causing clogged arteries, or it may make blood clot more easily. Both of these can lead to heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. One means of prevention may be a diet high in folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Folate is found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables such as orange juice and romaine lettuce. The normal level of homocysteine in your blood should be up to 15 micro mol/L. This is level of homocysteine in the average healthy person. The optimal level of homocysteine in your blood would be under 7 micro mol/L. I don't know what his are. Is anyone else familiar with this?