We may naturally reduce elevated homocysteine levels by getting high dosages of vitamins B2, B6, B12 and folate from foods or supplements.
High levels of homocysteine are dangerous!
Homocysteine is an amino acid naturally produced by the body. But, high concentrations of homocysteine can be dangerous. They can damage the lining of the arteries, and make blood clot more easily.
Elevated homocysteine levels seem to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, migraines, poor cognitive function, poor memory, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, bone fractures, osteoporosis, birth defects, early miscarriage, and pregnancy complications.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8]
What are the normal values of homocysteine?
Normal homocysteine values are between 5 and 12 micromol/L. But, the ideal homocysteine values are between 5 and 7 micromol/L, according to many researchers. Homocysteine levels higher than 13 micromol/L are considered elevated.[9,10,11]
Hyperhomocysteinemia is when homocysteine levels exceed 15 micromol/L. It’s a risk factor for serious medical conditions. Elevated homocysteine levels are categorized into three groups:
- moderate (16 to 30 micromol/L)
- intermediate (31 to 100 micromol/L)
- severe (over 100 micromol/L)
Factors such as age, sex, exercise, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, medication, and diseases can significantly affect homocysteine levels.
Can I lower homocysteine levels without drugs?
We can naturally lower homocysteine levels through diet. Vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid (or folate), and vitamin B12 play a key role in the metabolism of homocysteine.
Getting high doses of these vitamins from food or supplements may be beneficial for having normal homocysteine levels.
Moreover, according to another huge 5-year study, with more than 5,500 patients, daily administration of vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12 reduced homocysteine levels significantly. Researchers used daily doses of 2,500 mcg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12.
Folic acid is the most important vitamin for lowering high homocysteine values. Daily supplementation with 500 to 5,000 mcg typically lowers homocysteine levels by about 25%. Additionally, a daily vitamin B12 dose of at least 400 mcg from supplements further lowers homocysteine levels by about 7%.
There are many foods high in vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate. As a rule of thumb, consumption of fruits, vegetables, herbs, beans, seeds, and nuts can help lower elevated homocysteine levels.
What foods increase homocysteine levels?
Furthermore, you should avoid certain foods if you have elevated homocysteine levels. Increased consumption of processed meat, sweets, fat, sugar, and salt seems to increase homocysteine values. Also, fried foods have been linked to elevated homocysteine levels. Mainly, due to increased oil intake and altered nutrients in processed foods.[14,15]