By now, many people who are interested in optimum health and preventing chronic disease know that homocysteine is a marker for heart disease—like cholesterol level and C-reactive protein. What many of us don’t know is that an excellent French study of antioxidant vitamins shows that men and women do it differently
Published in December 2002, more than 2000 healthy men and women, ages 35-60 were studied. The researchers, who published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that women needed to decrease decrease coffee and alcohol consumption to lower their levels. And men needed to increase physical activity, the fiber in their diets and their intake of folate (which is vitamin B9) to lower their levels.
Homocysteine occurs naturally in the body (like cholesterol, all of which one needs the body manufacturers), but seems to increase the risk for heart disease.
The grain supply is fortified with folate—to reduce the chance of spina bifida in newborns–which is terrific, but it’s not a high enough level to reduce the homocysteine level in men or women.