High Homocysteine Levels Linked to Cognitive Impairment
Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been linked to increased risk of heart disease. Recent research, however, suggests that elevated homocysteine levels may also be a risk factor for cognitive impairment in mature adults.
Homocysteine is formed in the body as a by-product of digesting protein. High levels have been associated with the early development of heart and blood vessel disease.
The study included 288 healthy individuals who were at least 55 years old. The researchers conducted MRI’s on the participant’s brains. They also measured levels of plasma homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12, blood pressure, BMI and fasting glucose.
High levels of homocysteine were linked to reductions in global cerebral volume and cerebral white matter volume, larger ventricles and lower cognitive performance.
The study was conducted by researchers at the National University of Singapore. It was published in the February 2013, issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
There are natural ways to lower homocysteine, including increasing your omega-3 intake, increasing folic acid intake, eating more garlic, and increasing your vitamin B12 intake.