Functional medicine approach to the management of high homocysteine
B vitamins are the main therapeutic agents used to treat elevated or high levels of homocysteine. In general, the combined use of vitamin B12, folate and B6 is effective in lowering homocysteine levels. It is important to note that B vitamins should be taken in the methylated form and not synthetic.
In addition to a methylated vitamin B complex, other nutrients which have been shown to be effective include choline, betaine, omega-3 fatty acids, N-acetylcysteine and magnesium.
The role of diet
Poor dietary nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption are closely linked to the increased homocysteine levels in the blood. The homocysteine levels have been found to be higher in patients who have suffered a heart attack and stroke indicating the importance of measuring homocysteine levels to predict the risks of these diseases.
The lack of nutrients in the diet and unhealthy lifestyle habits may also play a role in triggering abnormal homocysteine metabolism in patients with Turner syndrome.
The results of these studies have suggested that improving dietary and lifestyle habits and ensuring that your body is not deprived of essential nutrients could help to avoid the rise in homocysteine levels. This would protect you against the disorders linked to the increased homocysteine level and reduce the risk of complications including mortality.
Regular exercise, especially resistance exercises has been found to be beneficial for maintaining normal homocysteine levels in the blood. Resistance exercises may reduce plasma homocysteine levels and inhibit the development of diseases caused due to abnormal homocysteine metabolism.
Chronic stress results in methyl group depletion which can interfere with optimal methylation and thus contribute to elevated homocysteine levels. Therefore, it is important to address stress through lifestyle means and often with some supportive supplementation.