Homocysteine Levels

Homocysteine is an amino acid that cannot be obtained from diet. Instead, it is derived from another amino acid called methionine. Homocysteine then undergoes further reactions to give rise to other amino acids.

Elevated plasma homocysteine levels is an independent risk factor (or marker) for a wide range of diseases.1 In 358 older adults studied in a community cohort, those with a homocysteine level ≥13 μmol/L were almost twice more likely to show decline in memory and global cognitive testing.2

Homocysteine lowering therapies include: cobalamin (vitamin B12)3, riboflavin (vitamin B6)4, pyroxidine (vitamin B6)5, N-acetylcysteine.6

Homocysteine levels routinely go unchecked in traditional medical settings. It would not be unusual for most medical providers to not appreciate the significance of this amino acid. At Rocky Mountain Regenerative Medicine, we habitually check serum levels of this amino acid and understand the many facets of treating it accordingly.

  1. J.M. Zhuo, H. Wang, D. Praticò: Is hyperhomocysteinemia an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk factor, an AD marker, or neither?. Trends Pharmacol Sci.32 (9):562-571 2011 Sep
  2. A.H. Ford, L. Flicker, U. Singh, V. Hirani, O.P. Almeida: Homocysteine, depression and cognitive function in older adults. J Affect Disord.151:646-651 2013
  3. R. Obeid, S.N. Fedosov, E. Nexo: Cobalamin coenzyme forms are not likely to be superior to cyano- and hydroxyl-cobalamin in prevention or treatment of cobalamin deficiency. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Mar 28
  4. P.F. Jacques, R. Kalmbach, P.J. Bagley, et al.: The relationship between riboflavin and plasma total homocysteine in the Framingham Offspring cohort is influenced by folate status and the C677T transition in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene. J Nutr. 132 (2):283-288 2002 Feb
  5. L. Galluzzi, E. Vacchelli, J. Michels, et al.: Effects of vitamin B6 metabolism on oncogenesis, tumor progression and therapeutic responses. Oncogene. 32 (42):4995-5004 2013 Oct 17
  6. A.F. Perna, E. Violetti, D. Lanza, et al.: Therapy of hyperhomocysteinemia in hemodialysis patients: effects of folates and N-acetylcysteine. J Ren Nutr. 22 (5):507-514 2012 Sep e1