Is There A Simple Test That May Prevent You From Getting Heart Disease?

By Dr. Rick Morris

Homocysteine is an amino acid that can be measured from a simple blood test. It's also an excellent marker for "methylation" (a detoxification process used by our bodies).

The New England Journal of Medicine reported that those with the highest levels of homocysteine are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer's disease as those with the lowest levels.

The study provides "convincing evidence" that high homocysteine levels put the elderly at risk for Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, according to Dr. Joseph Loscalzo of Boston University Medical Center.

Since certain B vitamins and other nutrients can reduce homocysteine levels, Loscalzo notes in an accompanying editorial, "It is intriguing to contemplate the possibility that consumption of these vitamins might prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias."

The National Institute on Aging, which funded the current research, is already planning a study to see whether high doses of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 can prevent or slow the development of Alzheimer's.

Links between elevated homocysteine and atherosclerosis, heart disease and strokes are already well established.

I recommend to all of my patients that their multivitamin contain 40 mg. of B6, 400-800 micrograms of folic acid and 100 microgram of B12. Everyone should be tested for homocysteine levels in their blood so these degenerative conditions can be prevented.

30% of us are “genetically wired” to need much greater amounts of these nutrients to ward off the negative effects. A simple homocysteine test is relatively inexpensive and can be ordered through our office. When you make your next appointment, speak to us about it.



Rick H. Morris, D.C., C.C.S.P., Q.M.E., A.B.A.A.H.P.
Brendan M. Murray, D.C., D.A.C.B.S.P., Q.M.E.

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