If you made a New Year’s resolution for 2019 and it’s already on the rocks, here’s one you can start today and easily stick to: Lowering your homocysteine level.
Granted, I know it’s unlikely that this goal made it onto your resolutions list, but it just might be the best one you’ve ever made. And that’s because lowering your homocysteine level can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
Grave risk with little awareness
And before I get into the results of one recent study illustrating homocysteine’s importance, here’s a little background on what it is. Homocysteine is an amino acid that your body produces naturally. But when it’s poorly metabolized and your level runs too high, it damages the lining of blood vessels — putting your heart, brain, kidneys, and other major organs in jeopardy.
This is why high homocysteine is far more dangerous than high cholesterol. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of this risk — mainly due to the fact that drug companies haven’t been able to land a successful drug treatment to capitalize off of. With no drugs, there are no ad campaigns, so homocysteine awareness is low — even though doctors really should know better!
Meanwhile, researchers have been on top of homocysteine’s effects for many years.
For instance, in one recent study, researchers measured homocysteine levels in nearly 3,800 patients immediately after they suffered strokes. Within the three years that followed, those with the highest homocysteine were at far greater risk of death.
In another stroke study, researchers compared homocysteine in more than 170 ischemic stroke patients to healthy volunteers. Results showed that high homocysteine stood out as a clear independent risk factor for stroke.
And one more stroke study demonstrates how this potentially fatal risk can be avoided.
In the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation 2 (HOPE 2) trial, more than 5,500 participants with cardiovascular disease were divided into two groups. For five years, one group took a placebo, while the other took a supplement that combined three key nutrients from the B vitamin complex:
- Folic acid — 2.5 mg
- Vitamin B6 — 50 mg
- Vitamin B12 — 1 mg
This intervention not only reduced homocysteine levels, but also significantly reduced the risk of overall stroke.
But as encouraging as that result is, it might have been even more effective with just a few additions to the supplement regime above.
An urgent recommendation
In Dr. Marc Micozzi’s Heart Attack Prevention & Repair Protocol he poses this question: “If you can prevent heart disease by taking a simple B vitamin supplement, why bother with the dangerous and expensive new drugs?”
And that’s why Dr. Micozzi believes that a high quality vitamin B complex should be, as he puts it, “…the very first recommendation made by every cardiologist and general physician to any patient at risk of heart attack or stroke.”
But no matter your heart health status, Dr. Micozzi recommends taking a B complex supplement for optimum heart support, as well as good overall health. You can find his suggested dosages for the seven primary components of the B complex in a piece I sent you earlier this week.
And to ensure that you get the most out of your B supplement, Dr. Micozzi offers additional recommendations for the following nutrients that have been shown to help your body metabolize homocysteine or prevent overproduction of the amino acid:
- Alpha-GPC — 250 milligrams
- Alpha-lipoic acid — 250 milligrams
- CoQ10, or ubiquinol — 100 milligrams
- Fish oil — 3 grams
- Selenium — 200 to 400 micrograms
- Vitamin C — 500 mg, in two divided doses of 250 milligrams each
- Vitamin E, in the form of gamma E tocopherol and tocotrienols — 200 milligrams
- Zinc — 30 milligrams
Dr. Micozzi also adds that time is of the essence when using supplementation to support your heart health and prevent cardiovascular disease. Because once disease has been well established, supplements alone may not be enough to reverse the condition.
He also recommends getting homocysteine levels checked with a blood test, so you’ll know for sure if you’re at risk. And if your levels turn out to be high, be sure to have your levels checked every six months until your doctor recommends a lesser frequency. You can find more of Dr. Micozzi’s specific guidelines for homocysteine measurement by referring to his Heart Attack Prevention & Repair Protocol. Simply click here to enroll today or to learn more about this online learning tool.
Elevated Total Homocysteine Levels in Acute Ischemic Stroke Are Associated With Long-Term Mortality
Evaluation of Homocysteine Level as a Risk Factor among Patients with Ischemic Stroke and Its Subtypes
Iran Journal of Medical Science
Homocysteine-Lowering Therapy and Stroke Risk, Severity, and Disability Additional Findings From the HOPE 2 Trial