Homocysteine: What is it ? And What is it Doing to Your Health ?

What is homocysteine?

Each one of your trillions of cells makes proteins. A useful tool in making proteins is an amino acid called homocysteine (HCY). Amino acids are building blocks of protein and fall into two categories: * Essential amino acids – these proteins are called “essential” because you need them to make other amino acids. * Non-essential amino acids – your body makes these proteins when it needs them. It uses essential amino acids as the source material for constructing non-essential amino acids. <P>

HCY works like dynamite to break essential amino acids into simpler, useable, non-essential amino acids. If everything works perfectly, HCY is neutralized once it completes its work. But if your body lacks the nutrients necessary to neutralize HCY, it can build up in your body, break free into your bloodstream, and damage your cells. High levels of HCY are a significant risk factor for many of the degenerative diseases you hear about daily – including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Other things that can prevent your body from using HCY correctly include: * Poor diet * Stress * Pollution * No exercise * Lack of sleep. <P>

Every day, each of these factors weakens your body’s ability to neutralize excess HCY. And that adds up to increased HCY levels. Your body’s weakened defenses allow HCY to escape into your bloodstream – which can result in damage inside your body and brain: * HCY can thicken and harden your arteries, and weaken your heart tissue – this can lead to strokes and heart attacks.The destruction caused by HCY is like thousands of tiny paper cuts inside your arteries. Scar tissue develops and the walls of your blood vessels thicken so much that blood cannot easily pass through. This trauma eventually overwhelms your ability to heal and a clogged artery – or even a blood clot – forms and causes a heart attack. * Your brain is made up of trillions of connections – like wires – that are suspended in liquid and surrounded by fat. HCY starts a process that tangles these wires into a jumbled mess, with no way for them to accurately communicate with each other. This may lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. * HCY can impact DNA function, causing potentially dangerous cell or DNA mutations. * Your bones are living tissues that constantly form a pattern of strong, fibrous connections. The strength of your bones relies on protein links – like links in a chain. Excessive amounts of HCY can damage these links, leaving your bones unable to absorb calcium, causing weak bones and potentially leading to osteoporosis. <P>

What’s a healthy homocysteine level? It’s important to know your homocysteine levels because it’s an accurate way to determine your present health and predict your likelihood for major disease. You cannot test your homocysteine levels at home – they must be tested by a healthcare provider. Ask your physician to check your homocysteine levels at your next physical. Also be sure to check with your insurance provider to make sure the test is covered. <P>

You don’t need drugs or medications to safely lower your homocysteine levels. Lifestyle changes and modifications are the primary ways to help reduce high homocysteine. Incorporate the following into your daily life to bring homocysteine to a healthy level. * Eat fruits and vegetables high in folate or folic acid – fi ve servings daily for children, seven servings for women, and nine servings for men. Try to include plenty of green, leafy vegetables. * Reduce your stress load. You can do this by prioritizing, practicing deep breathing and learning to say “no.” * Get at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity most days of the week. Include both aerobic and resistance training in your exercise regime. * Try to get 7 ½ to 9 hours of sleep every night. * Defeat stress by nurturing your spirit with healthy relationships and a healthy sense of purpose. Studies show that people who are more active and social tend to be healthier. * Supplement your diet with homocysteine-lowering nutrients such as those in TriVita’s HCY Guard. <P>

Homocysteine can be a silent killer. But by being aware of it, and taking measures to keep it at healthy levels, you can live a life of health and vitality for years to come. Get your homocysteine levels checked today!

To reduce high HCY levels in remarkably short periods of time, visit: http://www.trivita.com/13170419

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