World Heart Day 2022: The Role Of Homocysteine In Determining The Risk Of A Heart Attack
World Heart Day 2022: Homocysteine is known to affect smooth muscle cells and the cardiovascular endothelium negatively, altering the underlying structure and function of the arteries.
World Heart Day 2022: Unusual homocysteine levelsdo not always indicate a medical issue
What is homocysteine?
Homocysteine is essentially an amino acid. Methionine is converted to cysteine to produce this intermediate amino acid homocysteine. The metabolism of homocysteine requires vitamins like vitamin B6. Methylcobalamin, a cofactor for methionine synthase, is produced from vitamin B12, which is also known as cobalamin.
Serum homocysteine levels can rise as a result of genetic factors, vitamin deficiencies (folate, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12 in particular), CKD (chronic kidney disease), drugs and smoking.
What happens if serum homocysteine levels are high?
Clinical research has connected elevated homocysteine levels to a higher risk of cardiac conditions like MI (myocardial infarction). Additionally, homocysteine is known to affect smooth muscle cells and the cardiovascular endothelium negatively, altering the underlying structure and function of the arteries. Homocysteine concentrations in healthy individuals range from five to fifteen micromoles per litre (µmol/L). This homocysteine is converted to other proteins almost entirely.
The lining of the arteries could be harmed if your homocysteine levels are higher than 50 µmol/L. (blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout your body). Blood clots or blood artery obstructions can also result from high homocysteine levels. The risk of heart attack is considerably increased by arterial damage or blood clots.
Apart from heart problems, Elevated homocysteine levels might cause serious health problems if left untreated. Homocysteine excess raises the risk of thrombosis of other vessels, dementia, osteoporosis and stroke also.
How can you tell if a homocysteine test is necessary?
If a patient has a high risk of developing heart disease, he or she might require a homocysteine test. If a patient experiences signs of a vitamin B shortage, a blood test for homocysteine may also be necessary. Vitamin B deficiency symptoms frequently include dizziness, fatigue, pale skin tone, muscle weakness, tingling in the hands, arms, or feet, and a painful tongue or mouth.
What does a blood test for homocysteine mean?
Unusual homocysteine levels do not always indicate a medical issue. The blood levels of homocysteine may also be influenced by the following factors: ageing, being a male, excessive drinking and smoking.
How can you maintain normal homocysteine levels?
Healthcare professionals could advise taking supplements including folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 if patients have high homocysteine levels (the human-made form of folate).
Your risk of heart disease cannot be lowered by increasing your vitamin consumption alone. By exercising at least three to five times per week, avoiding or quitting smoking, eating less sodium than 2,300 milligrammes per day, and keeping your blood pressure under control, you can reduce your chance of developing heart disease.
According to research in the literature, homocysteine is a separate risk factor for cardiovascular disease that can be influenced by diet and exercise. Furthermore, recent research is revealing fresh dietary approaches to reducing elevated homocysteine levels, opening up fresh opportunities for preventing cardiovascular disease.
Content By: Dr. Ankur Phatarpekar, Director Cathlab and Interventional Cardiologist, Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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