Homocysteine is not obtained from the diet but is synthesised in the body. Homocysteine in the body can be recycled back to methionine or can be converted to cysteine with the aid of B- Vitamins. A high level of homocysteine makes a person more prone to vascular inflammation and hence homocysteine is measured as a possible risk factor for heart diseases.
The homocysteine test may be used a few different ways:
Your doctor may order a homocysteine test to determine if you may be suffering from Vitamin b 12 or folate deficiency. It is also used to measure in the elderly and the malnourished because they often absorb less Vitamin B12 from their diet.
Homocysteine is also tested for as part of a screening for people at high risk for heart attack or stroke. It is useful in people with a family history of heart disease but do not have other known risk factors such as high BP, smoking, obesity, elevated cholesterol etc.
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