Homocysteine. Yes, definitely a funny looking word but certainly not a funny thing to deal with if you have elevated levels in you body. So what is it exactly? Well, it’s part of a complex system related to the metabolism of proteins.
When your body breaks down proteins using an amino acid called methionine another kind of amino acid is formed – homocysteine. Normally, it usually gets recycled along with the other amino acids in your body but you need a sufficient supply of B vitamins B6 & B12 around to facilitate this. So, if your body is low on those, you start to build up an excess of homocysteine which then could lead to cardiovascular disease – especially if you have any family history of heart disease and/or stroke. Other risk factors include smoking cigarettes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol levels.
If you are included in any of those risks factors, you should certainly get checked and find out exactly how high (or low) your levels stand.