The Role of Homocysteine in Mental Health

When you get your cholesterol panel done, ask for homocysteine too – it is a factor in blood clotting. You may know that homocysteine is a toxin which, when elevated, increases your risk of heart attack and strokes. But it is also implicated in mental health problems too, such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disease, psychoses, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name a few. Aggression is also something you might see with very high homocysteine levels, sometimes in Autistic children, so getting yours tested is a good idea. It is a simple blood test with a simple nutritional solution – there is no drug which can lower homocysteine. The optimal level should be under 6, as low as possible.

Here are some things which raise it:

• Medications – especially pain and anti-inflammatory medications
• Tobacco smoking, or vaping
• Excess alcohol intake
• Oral contraceptives
• Leaky gut
• Poor eating habits

So what do you do to reduce it?

• Basically this is a B deficiency situation – B12, B9 (methylfolate) and B6 are ultimately what will lower this reading
• Avoid diabetic complications which will ramp this up
• Take a good, strong probiotic supplement

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Originally published on in 2020.