Homocysteine occupies a central role in your metabolic pathways. Its presence in your body is remarkably important but up to a certain limit because it involves the production of antioxidants. Its high level may prompt dangers.
Homocysteine is a sulfur-containing non-essential amino acid produced as a by-product during the breakdown of other amino acids. Amino acids are essential chemicals and are connected with each other to build long chains of proteins. Homocysteine is an important chemical because it is involved in producing essential chemicals in your body.
How does homocysteine produce and breakdown?
Your body produces homocysteine during the metabolization of the essential amino acids Methionine. When homocysteine is created, two pathways are involved in its degradation.
- Remethylation: A biological pathway in which homocysteine isconverted back into Methionine. A methyl group (–CH3) is attached with homocysteine and is converted it to Methionine in the presence of enzyme Methyltetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR).
- Transsulfuration: In this pathway, homocysteine is converted into cysteine amino acid with the aid of vitamin B6. Cysteine is further changed into glutathione, which is an excellent antioxidant.
The normal level of homocysteine is necessary for your body. The usual range of homocysteine in healthy blood is nearly 15 micromoles per liter (mcmol/L). If the level is high, it may indicatethe alarming condition.
- Moderate: 15 – 30 mcmol/L
- Intermediate:30 – 100 mcmol/L
- Severe: Higher than 100 mcm/L
The Dangers of High Homocysteine:
When homocysteine is not metabolized, it starts to accumulate, and its concentration increases in your blood. Its high level is a toxin for you. The elevated level of homocysteine is also known as hyperhomocysteinemia. A high level of homocysteine in your body may cause many diseases. The common symptoms are fatigue, weight loss, yellow skin, mental disturbances, etc. Many disorders are associated with hyperhomocysteinemia, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases (blood clotting and thrombosis)
- Physical disorders (affecting your behavior)
- Migraine (neural disease)
- Osteoporosis (weakening bones)
- Psoriasis (red patches on the skin)Read more here: isai mini
High homocysteine induces blood clotting in your blood vessels. A blood clot inside blood vessels is known as a thrombus. A thrombus is not fixed, can travel in your bloodstream. It can trap anywhere in your blood vessels and blockage blood movement. If it stucks in:
- Brain (causes stroke)
- Lungs (Pulmonary embolism)
- Heart (causes heart attack)
If you cannot control its level, the chances of these diseases increase, and you may experience a severe heart attack and stroke.
What are the reasons for high homocysteine levels?
Many reasons or factors are responsible for its elevation. During its breakdown, five nutrients like; folate (vitamin B9), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, riboflavin, and enzymes are required. And lack of one may stop the recycling of homocysteine to Methionine. If you’re taking a poor diet, your body contains low levels of these nutrients. Folates are big sources of methyl groups. The responsible factors for high homocysteine levels are;
- The deficiency of Vitamin B-complex
- Medication (various drugs interact with homocysteine)
- Kidney disease
- Deficiency of thyroid hormone
- Gene mutations; (the genes which are responsible for the synthesis of enzymes MTHFR and cystathionine–𝛽-synthase (CBS) are muted).
You can overcome these reasons by taking nutrient-rich food, exercising, avoiding alcohol, and smoking. And you should visit your doctor regularly if your body contains a high level of homocysteine.
Homocysteine is one of the amino acids that is produced in your body. It converts to cysteine and back to Methionine. Its average level should be nearly 15 mcm/L in the body. If its concentration rises, it can cause many dangerous diseases. The main disorders are cardiovascular diseases, brain damage, and pulmonary embolism. You can recover by taking a healthy diet and consulting with your doctor.