*(Homocysteine, the Best Single Indicator of Whether You are Likely to Live Long or Die Young)

By James Brady, M.D. and Patrick Holford

Basic Health Publications, Inc, North Bergen, N.J., 2003, $14.95

This superb little book contains 220 scientific references related to homocysteine research. And while I have long known that a homocysteine level of 8 or above puts you at risk of many diseases, these authors demonstrate that the healthiest level is BELOW 6 micromols per liter of blood! Indeed the risk of coronary artery disease is zero at a homocysteine level of zero. And the risk of heart disease increases 35% for every 3-unit increase above zero. Thus by the time you get to a homocysteine level of 12 (well within the ”normal”-read that stupid, uninformed-range) your risk of heart disease is a whopping 12 times greater! Interestingly, the authors do not mention High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein but I strongly suspect that this other most sensitive indicator of heart attack will be elevated in individuals with higher levels of homocysteine.

Coronary artery disease is just the tip of the iceberg of hidden risks from homocysteine. Indeed the authors list 117 situations which should be alarm buttons. These include spontaneous abortion, accelerated aging, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, every known heart disease, birth defects, virtually every known cancer, celiac disease, Chron’s disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, depression, peptic ulcer, hypothyroidism, brain atrophy, migraines, many psychiatric disorders, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, strokes, hypertension, ulcerative colitis.

Then there are the drugs which aggravate homocysteine elevation-methotrexate, anti-diabetic drugs, theophyllin, corticosteroids, sulfa drugs, phenytoin and Phenobarbital, cyclosporine, L-dopa, some of the protease inhibitors.

If your physician has not recommended that you have a homocysteine level checked, I suggest you find a more intelligent and up to date one! The book states that it is possible to have your homocysteine level checked without a physician’s prescription- www.yorktest.com. However, when I checked this site it is in England and they did not answer my inquiry about an American contact!

If your homocysteine is above 6, then you should be on the following:

  • Folic acid – a least 5 mg (some people may require 100 mg; available at www.selfhealthsysems.com)
  • B 6 – 25 mg ( of course I prefer at least 25 mg of B complex)
  • B 12 – 1000mcg (chewable or sublingual)
  • Zinc, chelated – 20 mg
  • Magnesium lotion, 2 teaspoons twice daily on the skin
  • Lecithin granules, two tablespoons twice daily (for choline supplementation)
  • Vitamin C – 2000 mg
  • Trimethylglycine (TMG), 1000 mg twice daily
  • Eat chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, baked beans, etc at least 5 times per week.
  • Eat halibut, Alaska salmon or canned salmon 4 times per week
  • Eat AT LEAST 2 servings of fruits and at least 3 of veggies daily
  • Exercise daily
  • Reduce stress – The RelaxMate and the Basic Schultz tape/CD are superb adjuncts
  • Recheck your homocysteine within a month to be sure you have reached the HEALTH/LONGEVITY/YOUTHFUL AGING level of 6 or below!
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