Sunday, June 6, 2010

Am I at risk of heart disease? Homocysteine

Like most health conscious Americans, you realize heart disease is a silent killer, a ticking time bomb that may strike at any time without warning and take your life or the life of a loved one.

And, like most Americans your doctor has tested your blood/cholesterol levels more than once to see if you're at risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, if your blood cholesterol level is above a certain level, your doctor has or will prescribe cholesterol lowering statin drugs to help prevent you from having heart disease.

But, people with low blood/cholesterol levels are just as likely to have a heart attack as those with high/blood cholesterol.

However, there is a test that is far more important than cholesterol testing when it comes to determining if you are at risk of heart disease.

If you're concerned about the potential for developing heart disease and having a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease, call your doctor and ask for an appointment to test your blood levels of HOMOCYSTEINE.

Unlike cholesterol which is required for life, the presence of homocysteine is an indication that there's a problem. The lower your homocysteine level, the lower your risk of developing heart disease. Your homocysteine level, NOT your cholesterol level, is the one you want to watch, and you want to watch it carefully, especially if other factors put you at higher risk of heart disease, such as incidence of heart attacks among your relatives, smoking, or previous detection of cardiovascular problems.

If your homocysteine level is higher than 12, you need to act quickly to lower it. You're in danger!

In fact, if your homocysteine level is above 6, although it may not be a medical emergency, you need to change your diet to reduce it.

To do so, cut back on foods high in carbohydrates and those that contain any of the oils produced from plants. Then, supplement your diet with B6, B12 and Folic acid by taking a good B Complex or HIGH vitamin B potency multivitamin supplement.

In addition to changing your diet if your blood levels of homocysteine are high, watch it very closely, consult a Naturopathic Doctor, and keep working until you get it down.

Get your homocysteine levels tested the next time someone suggests a cholesterol test. And start paying more attention to your homocysteine levels than your cholesterol levels.

Better Health Through Education

Gary Springer,
Author of They're Making You Fat and Sick
Founder of Perfect Health Institute