Homocysteine

Another risk factor for heart disease – homocysteine – has recently been discovered. Homocysteine (Hcy) is an amino acid (building block of protein) produced by the body during the breakdown of another amino acid – methionine. High levels of Hcy have been linked to increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Ensuring adequate levels of three key B-vitamins is crucial in lowering Hcy levels. Folate and vitamin B6 are found abundantly in plant foods and vitamin B12 is found in many everyday foods fortified with it such as yeast extracts (eg Marmite), some breakfast cereals, margarines and soya products such as soya milk.