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Most of you understand that homocysteine is a toxin that, when elevated, increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.

This is well-documented, but what is shocking is how dangerous a neurotoxin this compound is! It has been implicated as a contributing factor in neurological and psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder, aggression, schizophrenia, bipolar, psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

The other shocking surprise is that homocysteine can increase in your blood stream if you have mild kidney disease. Your first clue to this might be unexplained itching, or mild swelling in your feet after a shower or prolonged sitting.

Excessive homocysteine can destroy your life and cause you to get diagnosed with multiple conditions that require expensive medications. If you’d like the extended article I’ve written, I’ll send it via email if you sign up for my free newsletter.

Now, here are some ways to reduce homocysteine: 

Minimize meat

Methionine is the primary building block for homocysteine, so one quick way to reduce the formation of homocysteine, is to cut back on red meat which is high in methionine. Just think of it as “meat-thionine” and reduce intake for a few weeks.

B complex vitamins

These include B6, B12 and B9 (methyl folate).  This is what’s needed to break down homocysteine. It works for some people, but it triggers other people causing them to over-methylate. It’s not my favorite approach because it’s very hard to find the perfect ratios of each B vitamin (which is different for everyone). I prefer throwing a “wet blanket” on top of the fire so continue reading.

Bifidobacterium

Intestinal flora that has healthy amounts of Bifidobacterium longum can help reduce homocysteine. It works because the probiotic goes on to produce folate in the gut, and folate is needed to break down the homocysteine.

Prunes

In last year’s issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology, researchers noted that homocysteine responded to antioxidant compounds found in prune extract. Granted, this was not a human study, but still the prune extract was given by injection and it significantly decreased homocysteine levels. We can joke about it all day long, but you need to know that the prunes have a beneficial effect on homocysteine. 

Pomegranate powder

Brand new research in biomedicine and pharmacotherapy was published in June 2018 and showed how “punicalagin” from pomegranates can protect neuronal DNA in the brain of rodents with high homocysteine. Drinking pomegranate juice might help humans, it’s certainly not going to hurt. Even better, you can buy a concentrated pomegranate powder in a bag, and just mix some in water each day.

Catalase

High homocysteine is associated with a reduction in catalase enzyme activity all over the body. So if your homocysteine is high, your peroxide is too. Catalase is the liver enzyme humans make and it’s required to break down peroxide and turn it into water and oxygen. There are supplements of Catalase available online.

More: Ask The Pharmacist: Help in case you’re losing your mind

More: Ask The Pharmacist: Mangoes are magnificent, unless you’re allergic

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.

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