In fact, a high level of homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease. It’s associated with low levels of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, as well as renal disease. Research has shown, however, that getting your homocysteine levels down with vitamins doesn’t reduce your chance of having heart disease.
How Does Homocysteine Increase Heart Disease Risk?
Doctors aren't sure how. They’re also not certain if your chance of having heart and blood vessel disease goes up if your homocysteine level is high. There does appear to be a relationship between high levels of homocysteine and artery damage. That can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and blood clots.
Do I Need to Have My Homocysteine Level Checked?
There’s no universal recommendation for checking homocysteine levels. The test is still relatively expensive, it isn't widely available, and insurance rarely covers it.
Can High Homocysteine Levels Be Prevented?
If you have high homocysteine levels, talk to your doctor about how to change your diet.