If you were listening to BBC Radio 4 health program tonight (30/6/15) they covered Homocysteine and heart disease. Bottom line seems to be that some time ago research showed that people with a genetic disposition to elevated Homocysteine had a far greater incidence of heart disease leading to the theory that elevated Homnocystiene is a cause. A large trial was then conducted which failed to find this connection and this split the scientific community. However a more recent very large Chinese research project did show a direct relationship between elevated Homocysteine and heart disease and furthermore offered a possible explanation for the failed earlier test. The Chinese subjects who had their homocysteine lowered and as a result reduced their incidence of heart disease were NOT on aspirin. This was unlike the previous failed test in which subjects were using aspirin. It is thought that aspirin masked the benefit of the lowering of Homocystiene.
So what does this mean for us. Well personally I would get my Homocysteine levels checked (I have actually) and if they are too high dont worry, they can be lowered quite easily with a mixture of B vitamins and Folate. A mixture of B12 B6 Folate and Niacin will do the trick (it has for me). For best results I used the Methocobalamin variety, see my earlier blog post on Homocysteine.
Footnote – interesting post from Kilmer Mculley on the thinks.org web site
” I point out that the increased human consumption of synthetic pyridoxine (B6) may account for the decline in cardiovascular mortality in the US since the 1960s. Both synthetic pyridoxine and folic acid began to be added to the US food supply in appreciable quantities in the 1960s and 1970s in the form of fortified breakfast cereals and vitamin supplements. Since the 1960s there has been a steady decline in cardiovascular mortality of approximately 1% per year in the US, which can only be explained by B6 and folate fortification of the food supply. In a recent news report, epidemiologists from the CDC reported in the recent 2004 Cardiology meeting in San Francisco that the annual decline in mortality from heart disease and stroke suddenly increased in 1998 to 5% per year, as judged by review of death certificates, accounting for about 48,000 fewer deaths per year since 1998. That was the year when folate fortification of flour and refined grain products in the US was mandated by the FDA. The investigators attributed this dramatic reduction in mortality to the effect of folate on lowering homocysteine levels in the population. This effect agrees well with the observed 20% reduction in incidence of neural tube defects in the US population since 1998, when folate was introduced into the US food supply. Studies by the Framingham Heart Study showed that folic acid fortification of refined grain foods in the US in 1998 caused a doubling of blood folate levels and a 15% reduction in blood homocysteine levels in elderly study participants. It seems to me that these observations support the validity of the homocysteine theory of arteriosclerosis in the population at risk.”