The amino acid homocysteine has been
blamed for playing a serious part in causing heart disease, stroke and
thrombosis. High concentrations of homocysteine act as a poison and
destroy certain chemicals in the cell. Homocysteine is as important as
smoking and high cholesterol in causing damage to the arteries, blockage
of the blood circulation and worsening of atherosclerosis.
Lack of exercise, too much alcohol and an
unhealthy diet can drive levels of homocysteine sky high. Excessive
homocysteine can be neutralized, however, by S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe),
vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folate. There are a few hospitals offering
blood tests for detecting homocysteine and these tests will become much
more widespread in the near future.
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