It is an amino acid homologue to cysteine amino acid with an additional methylene bridge. It is biosynthesized from methionine amino acid. It is an independent risk factor of peripheral and cardiovascular diseases. Its concentration in tissues is dependent on many factors like Folate, B12 and B6 even the lifestyle. Therefore it is estimated that it is responsible of 10% of all risks. Homocysteine has a main function of making methionine which is essential for the metabolism(cannot be synthesized in the body) by interaction with the B vitamins. Cysteine amino acid is also synthesized from homocysteine and has a function of reducing inflamation, increasing the communication between the immune cells and increases liver health.
Interpretation: If there is increased homocysteine in blood, excess homcysteine may damage the lining of the arteries. High levels also lead to blood clots or blood vessel blockages. This raise the risk of heart attack. However as homocysteine may seem to be high by the interaction of B vitamins and Folate, its high levels are not always considered as a risk marker but a risk factor. Homcysteine levels are also high in diabetes, smoking, coffee consumption, alcohol intake, rheumatoid arthritis, poor tyroid function. It may also raise if there is a genetic problem of metabolising homocysteine. Hyperhomocysteinemia and classic homocysteinuria are the resultant pathologies.
Sample: Arm vein plasma (EDTA), Spot urine. Nonfasting
Working day: Everyday
Result Time: Next Day 6:00 PM