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Homocysteine, Elevated Blood Level (Hyperhomocysteinemia)

A 3-D model of homocysteine.

A 3-D model of homocysteine.

What Is Elevated Homocysteine?

Elevated homocysteine in blood, called hyperhomocysteinemia, indicates an abnormal blood level of this transient amino acid.

Q: How does the level of homocysteine become abnormal?

A: In metabolism, homocysteine is briefly formed in the breakdown of the amino acid methionine. It is normally converted to cystathione and then to the amino acid cysteine by means of an enzyme that requires vitamin B6.

In the reverse, conversion of homocysteine to methionine requires an enzyme dependent on adequate folic acid and vitamin B12 levels.

Insufficient methionine levels and/or inefficiency in this process results in elevated homocysteine plasma levels that are toxic to blood vessels.

Folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are involved in the metabolic removal of homocysteine, but folic acid deficit occurs the most often.1

What Is Elevated Homocysteine In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Lim PO, Tzemos N, Farquharson CA, et al. Reversible hypertension following coeliac disease treatment: the role of moderate hyperhomocysteinaemia and vascular endothelial dysfunction. Journal of Human Hypertension. Jun 2002;16(6):411-5. 

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