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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