Homocysteine - Benefits And Food Sources
What is Homocysteine ?Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced in the body in the course of methionine metabolism. This amino acid has been the focus of increasing attention in recent years, because high levels of homocysteine in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Further, it is known that homocysteine has a toxic effect on cells lining the arteries, makes the blood more prone to clotting, and promotes the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the so-called ''bad cholesterol"), which makes it more likely that cholesterol will be deposited as plaque in the blood vessels
Like other amino acids, homocysteine does perform a necessary function in the body. It is then usually broken down quickly into the amino acid cysteine and other important compounds, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP, an important source of cellular energy) and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). However, a genetic defect or, more commonly, deficiencies of vitamins B6 and B12 and folate (folic acid) can prevent homocysteine from converting rapidly enough. As a result, high levels of the amino acid accumulate in the body, damaging cell membranes and blood vessels, and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis. Vitamins B6 and B12 and folate work together to facilitate the breakdown of homocysteine, and thus help protect against heart disease.
Recommended Dosage of Homocysteine
Rich Food Sources of Homocysteine
Natural sources of Homocysteine found in meats and dairy products.
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