Homocysteine ​​role in the body is the norm in the analysis when the reasons for the increase and

Homocysteine ​​is a very toxic substance. Its excess in the blood (homocysteinemia) causes damage to blood vessels, which in turn leads to the development of many serious diseases. Take, for example, atherosclerosis.

It is homocysteinemia that is one of the main factors in the development of this intractable ailment. The mechanism of its appearance is as follows: the walls of blood vessels through which blood flows are damaged due to excess homocysteine.

In addition to it, a large number of severe ailments of the cardiovascular system can increase homocysteine ​​levels. Due to the growth of amino acids, Alzheimer’s disease develops, senile dementia, myocardial infarction and heart failure occur. So it’s even worth it to be afraid of homocysteinemia.

Today, many women experience miscarriages due to homocysteinemia. If it occurs at 3–9 months of pregnancy (2-3 trimesters), then there is a risk of asphyxiation (suffocation) of the fetus or the formation of late toxicosis (gestosis).

Also, pregnant women with elevated levels of homocysteine ​​are more likely to have heart and vascular problems, which can lead to childbirth.

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Women with this disorder also have trouble waiting after childbirth, since their newborn baby may suffer from dystrophy and weakened immunity.

Extremely many factors cause it, and not only pregnancy or old age. We list only the most common of them:

  • Dependence on harmful substances (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and coffee). However, it should be noted that small doses of alcohol and not more than one cup of coffee per day even reduce homocysteine ​​levels.
  • The postoperative period (in people who underwent surgery on the digestive tract).
  • Overweight problems (even the initial stages of obesity).

Vitamin deficiency is another reason for raising homocysteine ​​levels. It increases if the body lacks vitamins of groups B1, B6 and B12. Inadequate absorption of folic acid ends in the same. To get rid of such vitamin deficiency, you need to take care of your stomach and intestines, because it is the problems with the absorption of the above substances that lead to the occurrence of homocysteinemia.

There are a number of diseases that provoke an increase in homocysteine ​​levels. These include:

  • congenital genetic pathologies (mutations of enzymes whose task is to synthesize methionine);
  • hormonal imbalance;
  • kidney problems (especially kidney failure);
  • endocrine diseases (mainly diabetes);
  • heart and vascular diseases;
  • leukemia;
  • skin diseases (psoriasis and some others).

It also happens that the appearance of homocysteinemia is caused by the use of drugs. This is especially true for anticonvulsants, agents for the treatment of autoimmune disorders (immunosuppressants), antimetabolites and folic acid antagonists, which are prescribed in the presence of psoriasis.

Pregnant women are often advised to take methionine in tablets, so that the liver can better cope with additional loads. But to do this is undesirable, since it may result in the occurrence of homocysteinemia.

Recent studies have shown that homocysteine ​​also increases hormonal contraceptives.


To find out the level of homocysteine ​​in the body, blood is taken from a vein for analysis. The doctor may also prescribe her delivery with a so-called methionine load. Here we have in mind a comparison of two blood tests: taken on an empty stomach and after eating (it “loads” the body with methionine).

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An analysis that determines the level of homocysteine ​​does not hurt to do all those who are predisposed to cardiovascular disease. It is also desirable to pass it to diabetics.

Checking homocysteine ​​levels is especially important for pregnant women who have had problems during previous births. Women who are expecting a baby whose relatives have had heart attacks, strokes, or suffered from thrombosis should also be tested for homocysteine.


Homocysteine ​​is prescribed for high blood pressure, often recurring pain behind the sternum.

These manifestations may indicate the development of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, the leading link of which is an increased concentration of homocysteine.

Indications for taking analysis of 2-amino-sulfanylbutanoic acid is a dysfunctional family history – heart attacks, strokes, thrombosis in relatives under the age of 45 years.

A blood test for homocysteine ​​is prescribed with a decrease in diuresis, rapid weight gain, and the occurrence of edema in the third trimester of pregnancy. Such symptoms are characteristic of preeclampsia and eclampsia due to generalized microangiopathy caused by hyperhomocysteinemia.

Mandatory homocysteine ​​is determined in women with an unfavorable obstetric history planning pregnancy.

A high homocysteine ​​content is one of the factors of habitual miscarriage due to the impossibility of implantation of a fetal egg in early pregnancy or the development of chronic placental insufficiency in 2-3 trimesters.

A study on homocysteine ​​is carried out for children of preschool age with a noticeable lag in mental development, frequent fractures, visual impairment, epileptic seizures. Such signs may indicate a rare hereditary disease – homocysteinuria.

Its cause is a malfunction of the genes responsible for the exchange of homocysteine, including the production of cystathionine beta synthase. Periodic determination of homocysteine ​​in the blood is indicated for people aged 65 years and older.

Early detection of hyperhomocysteinemia can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia and osteoporosis. There are no contraindications to a blood test for homocysteine.

In order to determine the homocysteine ​​concentration more accurately, on the eve of the study you should not smoke, abuse coffee and alcohol, you need to refrain from “heavy” protein and fatty foods.

Blood for analysis for homocysteine ​​is taken from the peripheral veins of the upper limb. A tourniquet is placed on the shoulder. The patient is asked to squeeze and unclench the brush several times. The puncture site is treated with an alcohol solution.

A blood vessel is pierced with a needle, a special separator tube with heparin or an EDTA coagulation activator is connected and two to three milliliters of blood are collected. The puncture area is pressed for several minutes with a ball of antiseptic.

A blood sample immediately after collection is placed in ice and centrifuged for 60 minutes. Biomaterial can be stored for 48 hours at a temperature of 2-8 degrees or several months in a frozen state at -20 degrees.

In recent years, laboratories have used 2 main methods for studying homocysteine ​​concentration – immunochemiluminescent microparticle analysis and enzymatic method. The latter method is increasingly being used in laboratories as a faster and less laborious method.

To determine homocysteine, biological material without turbidity and hemolysis is used. The principle of the method is based on a chain of enzymatic reactions. Bound plasma homocysteine ​​is reduced to free. The latter reacts with serine, resulting in the formation of L-cystathionine.

The results of a blood test are issued in person or sent by e-mail at the request of the patient within two days.

Normal values

The reference values ​​of homocysteine ​​depend on age and sex characteristics. In children, the content of 2-amino-sulfanylbutanoic acid is lower than in adults. In preschool age, regardless of gender, an indicator of up to 5 μmol / L is considered the norm.

At school age, normal values ​​increase to 6-7 μmol / L, and for boys it is slightly higher than for girls. In adult women, the range is 4,45-13,55 μmol / L, in men from 5,45-16,18 μmol / L.

A higher homocysteine ​​content in the stronger sex is associated with more pronounced muscles.

In women, homocysteine ​​levels in early pregnancy decrease, and in the end increase. The permissible normal limit is a fluctuation of 0,5 μmol / L, both up and down. A week after birth, the concentration of homocysteine ​​returns to normal values.

In postmenopausal women, the content of 2-amino-sulfanylbutanoic acid increases due to a decrease in the synthesis of estrogen in the body. Excessive intake of protein products leads to an increase in homocysteine ​​by 15-20%.

At the same time, the complete absence of meat products in the diet, for example, among vegetarians, also causes an increase in homocysteine ​​levels due to a developing deficiency of B vitamins.

When interpreting the results of the study, it is necessary to remember that some anticonvulsant and cytostatic drugs lead to the growth of homocysteine.

The action of these substances is due to direct or indirect blocking of enzymes involved in the exchange of homocysteine.

For the same reason, the amino acid index increases in people who abuse alcohol and caffeine, smoke and use drugs.

Homocysteine ​​is considered an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. An increase in 2-amino-sulfanylbutanoic acid by 5 μmol / L increases the risk of morbidity and death by 1,5-2 times.

Timely initiated treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia reduces the number of undesirable consequences. In clinical practice, hyperhomocysteinemia is divided into moderate (from 15 to 29 μmol / L), medium (from 30 to 99 μmol / L) and severe (over 100 μmol / L).

Clinical studies of the past decade have shown that in people older than 45 years with concomitant pathology of the kidneys and cardiovascular system, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and some other conditions, the homocysteine ​​content in the range from 10 to 12 μmol / L should be interpreted as moderate hyperhomocysteinemia.

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Normal performance

during pregnancy in all women, the level of homocysteine ​​decreases – this is a normal factor, so at the time of conception it is better to make sure that it corresponds to the norm of a healthy person; if, shortly before conception, these indicators are increased or decreased, this will subsequently affect the placental circulation, on which the formation and intrauterine development of the fetus depends;

So that during the bearing of the child there are no problems with placental circulation and fetal development, it is important to know the homocysteine ​​indices even at the stage of pregnancy planning. In order to find out this figure, the doctor prescribes an analysis, for which you need to be able to prepare. Usually the doctor warns about this in advance.

The optimal level of amino acid presence is in the range of 4,6–12,4 μmol / L (tolerance of 0,5 μmol / L). This is the normal content of the protein compound for the successful carrying of crumbs. Depending on the trimester of pregnancy, the boundaries of this interval may be somewhat shifted:

  • The norm of amino acids in the 1st trimester is 4,6–12 μmol / L.
  • The norm of homocysteine ​​during pregnancy is 2 trimesters – 5,7 – 12,4 μmol / L.
  • The permissible content of the protein compound in the 3rd trimester is 6 – 12, 4 μmol / L.

The final evaluation of the data is carried out solely on the basis of the criteria of the laboratory in which the diagnosis was made.

If the amino acid level is lowered slightly, there is no reason for anxiety, since a low content of homocysteine ​​does not interfere with conception and does not affect the further bearing of the baby. Moreover, it is the low content of this protein compound that improves blood supply to the placenta, and therefore, the baby will receive a sufficient amount of nutrients. The main causes of low homocysteine ​​during pregnancy are:

  • Actually pregnancy.
  • Unbalanced nutrition.

The well-being of a woman is the most important diagnostic indicator. With a significant decrease in homocysteine ​​levels, the expectant mother may notice a deterioration in general condition. In this case, diet correction and analysis retake are recommended. A low indicator of non-proteinogenic amino acids can also be one of the first “bells” of multiple sclerosis, so it is very important to find out the cause of the deviation.

Much more dangerous and threatening is the increased titers of the protein compound. Among the most likely causes of an increase in homocysteine ​​during pregnancy are:

  • An inherited disease of homocystinuria, in which a defect in the metabolism of homocysteine ​​occurs.
  • Lack of vitamins B. Correction in this case is the simplest – taking the appropriate vitamin complexes.
  • Hormonal and endocrine disorders (including abnormalities in the thyroid gland).
  • Wrong way of life. Unfortunately, some women, even with the onset of pregnancy, “sin” with alcohol and smoking.
  • Low motor activity.
  • Taking certain vitamin B-breakdown medications

As a result, untimely cleavage of the amino acid occurs and its level rises.

Homocysteine ​​increased

Hyperhomocysteinemia is the serum homocysteine ​​amino acid content above normal values.

The presence of hyperhomocysteinemia may indicate the presence of serious diseases, the complication of which often leads to death.

An increase in homocysteine ​​levels primarily leads to the development of endothelial dysfunction.

Endothelial dysfunction is the trigger in the development of vascular lesions. Violations occur imperceptibly for the body, but this is only at first.

Gradual damage to the inner lining of the vessels – intima – over time leads to the formation of plaques and complete obliteration of the vessel (closure of the lumen). The endothelium, which accumulates homocysteine ​​on itself, turns into a loose, tuberous surface on which blood cells, cholesterol, freely settle.

Even an increase in amino acids by 5 μmol / L significantly increases the risk of developing vascular lesions, especially in men.

The result is the development of:

  • Atherosclerosis and its complications.
  • Thrombosis of various localization.
  • Dementia.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Damage to the kidneys.
  • Retinal diseases
  • Pathology of pregnancy.
  • Infertility.

Unfortunately, we do not attach enough importance to homocysteine ​​levels. In the case of timely diagnosis and treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia, it is possible to avoid the development of serious diseases, as well as to prevent their complications.

Dysmetabolic processes in which homocysteine ​​takes part occur in the case of:

  • Genetic insolvency of enzymes involved in metabolic processes.
  • Functional deficiency of enzyme activity.
  • High intake of protein foods.

The result of all these processes is hyperhomocysteinemia – an increased content of amino acids in serum.

The accumulating toxic substance primarily settles on the walls of blood vessels. In this case, the walls of blood vessels become loose, lose their elasticity. Cholesterol is most quickly attached to such sites, followed by the formation of an atherosclerotic plaque.

So begins the development of life-threatening conditions, because it is initially difficult to determine which vessels are affected. It can be vessels of the heart, brain, uterus, lower extremities, etc., which sometimes leads to inevitable consequences, for example, miscarriage, development of blockage of the vessels of the legs up to the development of gangrene with amputation.

Homocysteine ​​is continuously synthesized in the human body, then decomposing, as a result of which its concentration in the blood is normal. But if a failure occurs in the body, the level of homocysteine ​​can increase dramatically, which can serve the development of many dangerous diseases.

An increase in homocysteine ​​in human blood (hyperhomocysteinemia – GHZ) can be caused by the following reasons:

  • vitamin deficiency is the most common cause of increased homocysteine ​​in the blood. The body is especially sensitive to a lack of vitamins B-1, B-6 and B-12, as well as to a lack of folic acid;
  • impaired renal function;
  • hormone-dependent diseases;
  • excessive consumption of drinks containing caffeine is one of the most powerful factors in which there is an increase in homocysteine ​​in human blood, it is the consumption of large amounts of coffee. People who drink 6 or more mugs of coffee per day have a homocysteine ​​level of 2-3 μmol / L higher than people who do not abuse coffee drinks;
  • smoking – there are suggestions that smokers have elevated levels of homocysteine;
  • lack of exercise (sedentary lifestyle) also leads to an increase in the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood. Conversely, moderate physical activity reduces its level in the blood;
  • alcohol abuse leads to an increase in homocysteine ​​in the blood, and drinking a small amount of alcohol on the contrary reduces its level.

The accumulation of homocysteine ​​in the body is dangerous because its large amount corrodes and damages the inner walls of blood vessels. The body tries to heal these lesions, compensating for them with calcium deposits or cholesterol plaques. As a result, this leads to the fact that the lumen of the vessel becomes smaller and clogs over time, which leads to the formation of a thrombus. The consequences of this condition are extremely serious, even fatal.

A 5 μmol / L increase in homocysteine ​​in the blood entails an increase in the risk of atherosclerotic vascular damage in men by 60%, in women by 80%. A condition where homocysteine ​​is elevated increases the risk of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With a combination of diabetes mellitus and hyperhomocysteinemia, vascular complications often develop – retinopathy, nephropathy, peripheral vascular disease, etc.

During pregnancy, increased homocysteine ​​levels are highly undesirable. This can cause eclampsia, preeclampsia, venous thromboembolism, and also cause spontaneous abortion.

A condition where homocysteine ​​is low is often observed in a disease such as multiple sclerosis. Usually, homocysteine ​​is also reduced during pregnancy – at the end of the second, beginning of the third trimester. A decrease in this indicator in this period favors the onset of placental circulation. Then, a growth trend of homocysteine ​​is gradually observed.

True, a too critical deviation from the norm can negatively affect the condition of the expectant mother and her child, therefore, at a level of 4,1 μmol / ml, the doctor prescribes the woman to reduce physical activity and drink a cup of coffee in the morning

In any case, a woman must certainly control the amount of this substance in her own blood. Especially in situations where pregnancy is complicated by the presence of chronic diseases. Constant medical supervision is also necessary for those whose birth is not the first, as well as in the diagnosis of thrombophlybia.

A blood test for homocysteine ​​helps to determine not only the degree of risk of cardiovascular disease and prevent complications during pregnancy. This laboratory test is also used in other cases when it is suggested that this indicator is increased and has already begun to participate in the development of pathological processes in the body. The following conditions are a reason to check homocysteine ​​levels:

  • Diabetes mellitus (hyperhomocysteinemia in diabetes often provokes nephropathy or retinopathy);
  • Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia (high homocysteine ​​- increased risk of irreversible memory loss);
  • Homocystinuria is a rare genetic (autosomal recessive) disease caused by a disorder in the exchange of homocysteine ​​associated with a hereditary anomaly of individual enzymes (it will be briefly described below);
  • Lack of folate and B vitamins in food products (B6, B12 . ) or an overabundance of the essential amino acid methionine in food (the latter applies to lovers of meat dishes and hardly concerns vegetarians);
  • A prolonged lack of thyroid hormone production and a decrease in its function (hypothyroidism);
  • Psoriasis (high severity);
  • Renal failure;
  • Hyperproliferative processes;
  • The use of certain medications: immunosuppressants (penicillamine, cyclosporine), antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine), antimetabolites (methotrexate – a folic acid antagonist);
  • An unhealthy lifestyle without a regime and restrictions: bad habits – smoking and drinking alcohol in large quantities (small doses of alcohol, on the contrary, slightly reduce the level of this indicator), excessive caffeine loads with frequent use of coffee, and lack of exercise.

When the level of homocystin is lowered, doctors usually do not pay close attention to this fact – this rarely happens, and has no special clinical significance. But, for example, homocysteine ​​levels decrease with multiple sclerosis. If such a demyelinating disease is suspected, in addition to a hemostasiogram, many other laboratory (and not only) studies are performed.

Homocysteine ​​is an important amino acid that affects many processes in the body. It is synthesized as a result of the metabolism of methionine – a substance that is found in meat, eggs and some other products of animal origin.

Homocysteine ​​levels rise during pregnancy. This is very dangerous and sometimes ends tragically for the mother and her fetus. In elderly people, this amino acid becomes a catalyst for severe vascular disease.

Homocysteine: role in the body, norm in analysis, when important, causes of increase and decrease

According to many studies, it was concluded that elevated homocysteine ​​levels should be considered a marker of heart disease – arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis, angina pectoris, coronary heart disease and its complications, such as heart attack, stroke.

There are also a number of reasons for which it is extremely important to conduct a timely blood test for the concentration of homocysteine ​​in it.

First of all, analysis is recommended in the following cases:

  • To determine the risk of developing myocardial infarction, stroke and other vascular diseases, as well as after such terrible events.
  • Arterial hypertension.
  • Aortic and venous thrombosis.
  • When planning pregnancy and its availability.
  • Diabetes.
  • Renal failure.
  • Age from 60 years.
  • Addiction.
  • Alcoholism.
  • In children with homocysteine ​​in the urine.
  • A history of digestive tract surgery.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Hypovitaminosis of group B.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Depressive disorders.
  • Senile dementia.

For proper research, venous blood is sampled in the morning on an empty stomach. 24 hours before the test is taken from the diet, it is recommended to exclude all fatty foods, to limit physical activity. Allowed before analysis, only the intake of ordinary water. In the case of determination of homocysteine ​​levels in smokers, smoking is contraindicated an hour before the study.

Over the course of a healthy adult’s life, blood homocysteine ​​levels can vary within physiological limits, which are:

  • Men – from 6,26 to 15,01 micromol / l.
  • Women – from 4,6 to 12,44 μmol / L.

Normal indicators of homocysteine ​​accepted in pediatrics:

  • Children before puberty – 5 μmol / L.
  • Teenagers – from 6 to 7 micromol / l.

Homocysteine ​​in healthy people, as a rule, in the absence of pronounced pathological processes and normal metabolism fluctuates in a small range, without exceeding normal values. The normal content of this amino acid plays an important role in metabolic processes.

But if in the body the processes associated with the metabolism of amino acids are disrupted, a cascade of reactions is triggered, in which homocysteine ​​rapidly accumulates in the body and turns into such a toxic substance that in some cases it leads to lightning development, for example, stroke, which can lead to death .

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Since the human body does not know how to synthesize it on its own, it is forced to take methionine from animal products (meat, eggs, curd products).

Undoubtedly, methionine is an essential amino acid and is very useful for the body, but one can imagine how much the product of its metabolism, homocysteine, will be increased if a person starts to eat only meat and consume excessive amounts of methionine? That’s why for some patients, doctors strongly recommend limiting the consumption of animal products – high homocysteine ​​creates the conditions for the formation of certain pathological conditions. Which – the reader will find out in the following sections.

The average norm of homocysteine ​​in the blood of a healthy adult is 10 – 11 μmol / L, in children, regardless of gender – up to 5 μmol / L, in adolescents who have begun puberty – up to 6 (girls) – 7 (boys) μmol / l .

In the blood, this nonprotein sulfur-containing amino acid (homocysteine) can be present in three molecular variants, however, most often (up to 80%) it can be found in the form of a compound bound to plasma proteins (mainly with albumin).

A separate genetic pathology, as well as some acquired diseases that entail a defect in enzymes and a decrease in the level of vitamins, cause a metabolic disorder of this metabolic product.

High homocysteine ​​forms a cytotoxic effect, which results in cell death, and also negatively affects the vascular walls, since by loosening their surface, it creates conditions for attracting “bad” cholesterol (LDL, VLDL) and calcium salts to the endothelial lesions, which are suitable material for the “construction” of atherosclerotic plaques.

Thus, this substance takes part in the development of atherosclerosis, enhances platelet aggregation and promotes the formation of blood clots. In this regard, the determination of the concentration of this amino acid, together with other laboratory parameters (lipid spectrum, fibrinogen, CRP) is used to assess the degree of risk of the formation of cardiovascular pathology.

A blood test for homocysteine ​​during a routine examination (physical examination, medical examination), as a rule, is not involved, so most people have not even heard of its existence.

But many will learn about him, planning the birth of a child. During pregnancy (in a separate category of women), an increased level of homocysteine ​​acquires special clinical significance.

If the concentration of hypocysteine ​​is increased during pregnancy, there is a risk of spontaneous miscarriage, premature birth, thromboembolism (venous), preeclampsia and eclampsia in a pregnant woman, as well as various abnormalities of intrauterine development as a result of fetal oxygen starvation.

Homocysteine ​​is an amino acid that is synthesized from methionine, which is part of the group of essential amino acids of the human body.

Methionine enters the body with protein foods of animal origin and is involved in the process of converting protein into energy.

Homocysteine ​​is a byproduct of the digestion of methionine.

Homocysteine ​​is usually found in small quantities in the body. Its excess in the process of metabolism turns into cystathionine and is excreted from the body.

Their insufficient amount leads to a dangerous increase in homocysteine.

A high concentration of homocysteine ​​can be toxic to cells, therefore, with the help of protective mechanisms in the body, it is neutralized by release into the blood. Genetic pathologies of some people may complicate the process of removing homocysteine ​​from cell tissues.

Homocysteine ​​is constantly synthesized in the human body, and then decomposes, as a result of which its concentration becomes not large.

But when some mechanisms in the body fail, the concentration of homocysteine ​​can increase sharply and cause the development of many diseases.

According to studies, 30% of the population of Russia has a homocysteine ​​level of 50% above normal.

With increasing age, homocysteine ​​levels gradually increase. Her indicators depend on age and gender:

  • In children, regardless of gender, the norm is 5 μmol / L.
  • In adolescents, the level of homocysteine ​​is 6-7 micromol / l, and in boys it is always higher.
  • In adult men, the norm is 5-15 micromol / l.
  • In adult women, the norm is 5-12 μmol / L.

During pregnancy, homocysteine ​​levels range from 4,6 to 12,4 μmol / L, which is considered the norm.

In this case, oscillations in opposite directions by 0,5 μmol / L are allowed. Homocysteine ​​decreases, usually at the beginning of pregnancy.

After childbirth, homocysteine ​​levels return to normal after 4-5 days.

Monitoring homocysteine ​​levels in the blood is very important when planning pregnancy. Its increase is extremely dangerous and can cause the development of severe pathologies in the child born and even provoke a miscarriage.

If the analysis showed an increase in homocysteine, then it is necessary to bring it back to normal before pregnancy. To do this, balance your diet and enrich it with B vitamins and folic acid. Simple exercise also lowers homocysteine ​​levels.

There are several risk factors for increasing the concentration of homocysteine ​​in the blood, in which a study of its level in the body is prescribed:

  • dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system, arterial and venous thrombosis;
  • heredity associated with the risk of heart attack or stroke;
  • diabetes mellitus, renal failure;
  • some endocrine and genetic diseases;
  • advanced age after 60 years;
  • alcohol or drug addiction;
  • previous surgery on the stomach.

Recent studies show that every person needs to know their level of homocysteine. A critical increase in homocysteine ​​may not manifest itself, but it increases the risk of many diseases.

Blood is taken from a vein to check homocysteine ​​levels. Blood should be donated to an empty stomach. To get the most accurate picture in the analysis, on the eve of the study, it is necessary to exclude fatty meat food, and drink only water from liquids.

An increased concentration of homocysteine ​​in the blood is called hyperhomocysteinemia.

Accumulating in blood vessels in excess, homocysteine ​​corrodes and damages the inner walls of blood vessels due to its toxic effect.

In order to protect the body, it tries to patch up damaged areas with calcium deposits or cholesterol plaques. As a result of this, the vessels gradually narrow, clog, and blood clots form further with all the ensuing consequences.

It has been proven that increasing the concentration of homocysteine ​​by about 5 μmol / L increases the risk of vascular damage in women by 80%, in men – by 60%. There are several reasons for increasing homocysteine:

  • lack of folic acid and B vitamins in the body;
  • smoking and drinking;
  • excessive use of coffee;
  • renal dysfunction;
  • hereditary disease – homocystinuria;
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • hormone-dependent diseases;
  • Thyroid gland diseases.
      Elevated concentrations of homocysteine ​​can lead to serious consequences. This can threaten the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, heart failure, cerebral arteriosclerosis and other diseases associated with blood vessels. When hyperhomocysteinemia is detected, complex therapy is administered with the introduction of high doses of vitamins B6, B1, B12 and folic acid. They are rich in vegetables, cereals, nuts, legumes, spinach and seafood. If a deficiency of vitamins is associated with disruption of the intestines, vitamins are administered intramuscularly. The doctor also prescribes blood-thinning drugs. With increased homocysteine, exercise and restriction of products containing methionine – meat, eggs, dairy products, are indicated.

    Reasons for the decline

    Lowering homocysteine ​​levels is extremely rare. In the initial stages of pregnancy in women, its low level is considered normal and even has a beneficial effect on the development of the fetus. After birth, the norm of homocysteine, as we already wrote, is restored. According to some reports, a reduced norm of homocysteine ​​occurs with impaired functions of the enzymes involved in its synthesis, and with multiple sclerosis. Such situations require careful examination and treatment of these diseases by narrow specialists. In other cases, doctors do not attach much importance to reduced homocysteine. In a healthy person, it easily rises with the addition of methionine-rich foods to the diet. Constant control of homocysteine ​​levels, a good lifestyle and a balanced diet will help you maintain vascular cleanliness, mental clarity and a healthy active life.

  • for men 5,9-16,0 micromol / l;
  • for women 3,4-20,4 micromol / l
  • To determine the risk of developing myocardial infarction, stroke and other vascular diseases, as well as after such terrible events.
  • Arterial hypertension.
  • Aortic and venous thrombosis.
  • When planning pregnancy and its availability.
  • Diabetes.
  • Renal failure.
  • Age from 60 years.
  • Addiction.
  • Alcoholism.
  • In children with homocysteine ​​in the urine.
  • A history of digestive tract surgery.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Hypovitaminosis of group B.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Depressive disorders.
  • Senile dementia.
  • If, even before conception, the content of homocysteine ​​is increased or decreased, the doctor will try to correct the violation in advance. Deviation of this indicator from normal can have a negative effect on blood circulation in the placenta, intrauterine formation of the baby, and provoke a miscarriage.
  • Early diagnosis allows you to timely identify a possible deficiency of B vitamins (including folic acid), to determine the risks of heart and blood vessel morbidity.
  • Fixing the violation and determining its causes allows you to prescribe a corrective diet or certain medications, so that by the time of pregnancy the level of homocysteine ​​was normal.

What does low homocysteine ​​mean?

To normalize the performance of the specified amino acid in the blood, it is necessary:

  1. Intermediate monitoring of homocysteine ​​in the blood.
  2. Normalization of nutrition with reduced intake of protein products.
  3. Therapy with vitamins of group B.
  4. Reception of folic acid.
  5. The use of antiplatelet agents.

The general recommendations for increasing the level should include the following:

  • to exclude the occurrence of blood clots, you need to ask your doctor a question about the possibility of using drugs to thin the blood. As an example, we give acetylsalicylic acid.
  • a diet with rejection of products with a high methionine content is required: milk and dairy products, eggs, coffee, alcohol.
  • with a significant increase in the level, diet alone cannot be dispensed with and a course of vitamin therapy is applied intramuscularly.

Important: An increase in homocysteine ​​levels, which many doctors, unfortunately, do not pay attention to, triggers a negative cascade of reactions in the human body.

You can normalize amino acid levels at home, while observing not complicated rules.

deficiency of vitamins from group B: thiamine (B1), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), cobalamin (B12) – accordingly, you will need a diet with the mandatory inclusion in the diet of a woman of products such as greens, walnuts, watermelons, citrus , peaches, baked goods from wholemeal, buckwheat, oats, rice, millet, kefir, tomato juice, cottage cheese, cheese, beef and cod liver, caviar, egg yolk, etc .;

smoking – this bad habit at the stage of pregnancy planning needs to be stopped once and for all so that the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood corresponds to the norm; excessive consumption of coffee – this drink will need to be limited to a minimum; alcohol, which is better for women not to consume before conception (at least for three months);

All these factors can distort the analysis indicators in a big way. So if homocysteine ​​is increased during pregnancy planning, all measures must be taken to eliminate these causes, and then retake the tests.

This indicator should not be allowed to be overestimated on the eve of the long-awaited conception (especially disastrous if it exceeds 12,9 μmol / ml), because during childbearing this can lead to impaired placental circulation. Accordingly, the baby will receive less vital substances, including oxygen.

intramuscular administration of B vitamins; upon reaching a normal level of homocysteine, only maintenance doses of these vitamins are prescribed; antiplatelet therapy: small doses of aspirin and heparin drugs – Clexane, Lovenox, Gemapaksan, Fraksiparin, Zibor, Klivarin, Fragmin, Innogep, Cetroparin sodium, etc.

All these measures are taken by the doctor at the stage of pregnancy planning if, as a result of a blood test, a woman revealed an increased level of homocysteine. But what if this indicator is lowered?

It is believed that there is nothing to worry about if homocysteine ​​is lowered during pregnancy planning, as this can in no way interfere with a successful, successful conception, or further bearing a full and healthy baby. However, here too a critical deviation from the norm, which amounts to 4,1 μmol / ml, can also subsequently negatively affect the well-being of a woman during gestation. In this case, the doctor may advise you to move less and drink a cup of coffee in the morning.

If the couple is planning a pregnancy, a few months before the long-awaited conception, a woman must definitely take a blood test for homocysteine. This will help in time to recognize the problem, if any, and eliminate it by the cherished date. Doctors will certainly tell you a set of measures that reduce the level of this substance in the blood. After all, it is the increase in homocysteine ​​that can lead to the most undesirable consequences during the formation and development of the fetus up to its death.

Homocysteine ​​is an important and essential amino acid for the human body, especially during pregnancy and its planning. An increase in homocysteine ​​levels can lead to unpleasant consequences, therefore it is very important to take a blood test for homocysteine ​​at the stage of planning pregnancy or during it, if there was a miscarriage in the history.

What is homocysteine?

As already mentioned, homocysteine ​​is an amino acid species and is an active substance. Unlike other amino acids, this enzyme does not penetrate the body with food, but is synthesized by methionine and is considered a product of its processing. Methionine, on the other hand, enters the body through foodstuffs of animal origin.

The level of homocysteine ​​varies depending on the age category, but in general it should be a minimum amount. Without folic acid and B vitamins, homocysteine ​​metabolism is impossible. With a lack of them, the level rises very much, as a result of which the processed product is released into the blood. After this, the walls of the blood vessels begin to collapse, against the background of which atherosclerotic plaques and blood clots form. During pregnancy, this can even lead to fetal freezing in development.

Cognitive homocysteine ​​video

We bring to your attention a video that talks about products that can lead to a miscarriage. The program touched on the topic of increasing homocysteine ​​as a result of an unbalanced diet, which can lead to termination of pregnancy.

What is a blood test for homocysteine ​​for?

prevent miscarriage caused by increased homocysteine; timely detection of a deficiency of B vitamins and folic acid; determining the risk of heart and vascular disease; detecting a hereditary predisposition to a disease called homocystinuria.

Homocystinuria refers to a disease of a genetic nature, which entails consequences such as mental retardation, thinness, atherosclerosis and other diseases of blood vessels, heart, visual apparatus, and bone system.

The norm of homocysteine ​​when planning pregnancy and when bearing a fetus

Every woman planning a pregnancy and having a history of more than 2 miscarriages must pass a blood test for homocysteine. If a deviation is detected, medication is necessary, aimed at balancing the level of folic acid and group B vitamins.

absence or planning of pregnancy – 4,44-13,56 μmol / l; during pregnancy – 4,6-12,4 μmol / L, deviations in each direction by 0,5 μmol / L are possible.

Hyperhomocysteinemia during pregnancy and planning

When the level of homocysteine ​​exceeds the norm, doctors diagnose hyperhomocysteinemia. An increase in the level of this amino acid can not always lead to unpleasant consequences. This only increases the risk of miscarriage or other adverse consequences, however, if the situation changes in time, then this risk is minimized.

Causes and consequences

Since methionine comes along with certain products of animal origin, the risk of pathology occurs when a woman eats large amounts of meat, dairy products (especially cottage cheese) and eggs. Lack of B vitamins and folic acid in the body, which in turn occurs with an unbalanced diet.

Some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (atrophic gastritis, etc.), which impair the absorption of beneficial substances from the digestive tract. Presence of renal failure and / or hypothyroidism. The use of large quantities of coffee, alcoholic beverages, smoking. A sedentary lifestyle or, conversely, excessive physical activity. Hard diets, malnutrition.

spontaneous miscarriage; preeclampsia and eclampsia; fetal growth retardation; fetal hypoxia; chronic placental insufficiency; placental abruption; venous thromboembolism; nephropathy and retinopathy, as a complication in the presence of diabetes in a pregnant woman. What to do with increased homocysteine ​​during pregnancy

The appointment of folic acid (5 mg per day) and B vitamins in large quantities. This allows you to replenish the deficit of these substances in the body and balance the synthesis of homocysteine. In addition, hematopoiesis is stimulated, the functionality of internal organs improves, metabolic processes are accelerated, many amino acids are synthesized.

In addition, blood coagulation is normalized, nucleic acids are formed in sufficient quantities, and cell growth and division are accelerated. But the main thing is that the embryo develops correctly. Compliance with a diet aimed at reducing protein intake and increasing the proportion of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Antiplatelet treatment involves the use of aspirin in small doses (up to 100 mg per day) or heparin drugs – fraxiparin, clexane, fragmentin, etc. This reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (the formation of cholesterol plaques) and thrombophlebitis.

The norm of homocysteine ​​in women when planning pregnancy

inability to become pregnant due to difficult egg implantation; miscarriage in the early stages; premature birth; preeclampsia; fetal oxygen starvation and impaired brain formation; violation of placental circulation;

Hyperhomocysteinemia is also fraught with an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia. When it is superimposed on diabetes mellitus, vascular pathologies arising as complications of this disease begin much earlier and proceed much more aggressively. Therefore, this condition is dangerous not only for expectant mothers.

should not exceed 10-11 micromol / ml.

If this figure is less, but does not fall below 4,6 μmol / ml, no additional measures are required, this concentration can be considered a normal option, especially if the analysis was carried out during pregnancy and hypogomocysteinemia is due to natural physiological processes. When the figure exceeds 12,9, measures are required to reduce it.

homocystinuria (genetic disease); deficiency of vitamins of group B, in particular folic acid; smoking; the use of significant doses of alcohol; frequent use of coffee and other high-caffeinated beverages; diabetes; psoriasis and other dermatoses in the acute stage; the use of certain drugs; physical inactivity; hypothyroidism; chronic renal failure.

If hyperhomocysteinemia is detected in preparation for conception, additional tests may be required to identify the cause of the problem, since many of these diseases themselves threaten the inability to become pregnant or complications dangerous for the mother and the unborn child. Adequate therapy for the underlying disease will reduce homocysteine ​​to normal.

How to lower homocysteine ​​when planning pregnancy? In the absence of diseases, proper nutrition and moderate physical activity will help to improve the numbers in the analyzes. A woman planning a pregnancy will need to include in her diet foods rich in folic acid and other vitamins from group B: these are greens and vegetables, unpolished rice, cod caviar and liver, nuts.

Помимо диеты и витаминов, потребуется отказ от курения и спиртных напитков, а также ограничение кофеина. Имеет смысл заменить натуральный кофе цикорием, а вместо черного и зеленого чая пить ройбуш.

Обычно поднимать содержание в крови гомоцистеина не требуется, однако,

если он падает ниже 4,1,

самочувствие беременной или готовящейся стать матерью женщины может начать ухудшаться.

В таком случае для нормализации анализов достаточно иногда баловать себя крепким кофе и снизить физические нагрузки.

Гомоцистеин относится к числу гормонов в организме женщины, играющих важную роль при вынашивании плода.

Последствия отклонения от нормы этого вещества могут стать причиной серьезных патологий у будущего ребенка. Выяснять его содержание необходимо еще на этапе планирования беременности.

Гомоцистеин при планировании беременности

Гомоцистеин представляет собой аминокислоту непротеиногенного типа, которая содержится в организме человека независимо от возраста и пола. Уровень данного вещества может меняться под воздействием многочисленных факторов.

Для женщин при планировании беременности и вынашивании плода данная аминокислота играет важную роль, обеспечивая нормальное кровоснабжение плаценты, снабжение эмбриона всеми необходимыми питательными компонентами и оказывая влияние на общее состояние организма.

Дети (мальчики и девочки)Пубертатная фаза Взрослые
До 5,0 мкмоль/лДо 7,0 мкмоль/лДо 6,0 мкмоль/л6,2 – 15,0 мкмоль/л5,0 – 12,0 мкмоль/л4,0 – 12 мкмоль/л

*Уровень гомоцистеина при беременности также меняется в зависимости от ее срока:

  • К концу первого триместра нормальным считается показатель, расположенный в границах от 4 до 12 мкмоль/л;
  • Во втором триместре непротеиновая аминокислота увеличивает свои значения до 5,7 – 12,4 мкмоль/л;
  • Самый высокий гомоцистеин (ориентируясь на нижний предел) наблюдается в третьем триместре и составляет от 6 до 12 мкмоль/л.

При планировании беременности такой лабораторный тест, как анализ крови на гомоцистеин, учитывается в обязательном порядке, где особого внимания удостаиваются женщины, имеющие в анамнезе выкидыши, мертворождения, преждевременную отслойку плаценты и т. д.

Кроме того, гомоцистеин тормозит работу противосвертывающей системы крови. Поэтому повышенный уровень гомоцистеина уже сам по себе увеличивает риск тромбоза.

Эти механизмы повреждения кровеносных сосудов и кровообращения в сосудах ведут к следующим патологиям:

  • недостаточность маточно-плацентарного кровообращения на ранних сроках гестации, и, как следствие, – невынашивание беременности;
  • недостаток кровообращения в системе мать-плацента-плод во второй половине беременности приводит к хронической гипоксии плода, а это ведет к рождению маловесных детей со сниженными адаптационными способностями всех органов и систем новорожденного;
  • бесплодие вследствие дефекта прикрепления (имплантации) зародыша к стенке матки;
  • поздний гестоз (отеки беременных, нарушение функции почек, артериальная гипертензия, преэклампсия (ко всему перечисленному присоединяется нарушение сознания), эклампсия (судороги, потеря сознания);
  • преждевременная отслойка «детского места»;
  • преждевременное старение плаценты;
  • патология сосудов плаценты (микротромбозы сосудов, межворсинчатые тромбы).

Доказано, что гомоцистеин проникает через плацентарный барьер. Большие концентрации этого вещества могут оказывать прямое повреждающее действие на нервную систему плода.

Избыток гомоцистеина в крови может быть причиной формирования дефектов внутриутробного развития – незаращение или другуе аномалии нервной трубки, анэнцефалии (грубый порок развития головного мозга), пороков лицевого отдела черепа.

Гипергомоцистеинемия может приводить не только к акушерской патологии, но заболеваниям сердечно-сосудистой системы, системы кровообращения. Среди таких заболеваний возможны атеросклероз, атеротромбоз, тромбоз коронарных сосудов сердца, варикозное расширение вен (ВРВ), тромбофлебит, тромбоз глубоких вен (ТГВ) и др.

На сегодняшний момент ученые предполагают, что гипергомоцистеинемия может провоцировать развитие вторичных аутоиммунных реакций. Это состояния, когда ткани собственного организма иммунной системой воспринимаются как поврежденные или чужеродные и атакуются клетками иммунной защиты. То есть, организм начинает борьбу сам с собой.

На сегодняшний день высокий уровень гомоцистеина рассматривается как одна из причин антифосфолипидного синдрома (АФС). Это тоже одна из аутоиммунных реакций. При этом синдроме иммунной системой атакуются фосфолипиды мембраны клетки.

Запущенные аутоиммунные процессы могут препятствовать наступлению или нормальному развитию беременности, даже если уровень гомоцистеина удалось нормализовать.

Helpful information   Five effective methods for the prevention of blood clots in blood vessels

В случае, если гомоцистеин в анализе крови повышен, необходимо обозначить причину данного отклонения, для чего врачу придется:

  1. Направить женщину на дополнительные лабораторные исследования: определение концентрации в плазме крови креатинина, тиреотропного гормона (ТТГ), цианокобаламина (витамин В12), пиридоксина (витамин B6), фолиевой кислоты и поинтересоваться пищевыми предпочтениями пациентки — возможно, повышенное содержание описываемой аминокислоты обусловлено чрезмерным поступлением метионина с пищей;
  2. Выяснить, не слишком ли часто будущая мама для поднятия жизненного тонуса употребляет крепкий кофе, не имеет ли такой вредной привычки, как курение, не увлечена ли она по выходным (и не только) посещением увеселительных мероприятий, предусматривающих употребление алкогольных напитков;
  3. Узнать, хватает ли женщине той физической нагрузки, которую она получает ежедневно, или стоит задуматься о повышении активности (кататься на велосипеде, ходить на каток, совершать походы на лыжах или просто не забывать о вечерних пеших прогулках).

During pregnancy (recent), there is a slight decrease in the level of homocysteine, which refers to the physiological reactions of a healthy body to changes that occur. Thus, if in the first trimester it suddenly turns out that this indicator is lowered, then there is no need to worry prematurely, everything will recover over time.

In addition, doctors attribute this symptom to the number of positive ones, because it is believed that a decrease in the indicator values ​​indicates that everything is in order with placental circulation. The only thing that can happen in the first trimester due to homocysteine ​​is its low level that can slightly worsen the condition of a pregnant woman, but this rarely happens.

If an increase in homocysteine ​​is recorded in the second half of pregnancy, then a woman may develop late toxicosis (preeclampsia), which is accompanied by such dangerous conditions as preeclampsia and eclampsia (impaired functionality of the cardiovascular and urinary systems, which can lead to death of the mother and fetus). In addition, with increased homocysteine, metabolic processes in the placenta are disturbed, which is fraught with oxygen starvation of the fetus (hypoxia).

The significance of homocysteine ​​.

In the blood, this nonprotein sulfur-containing amino acid (homocysteine) can be present in three molecular variants, but most often (up to 80%) it can be found in the form of a compound bound to plasma proteins (mainly with albumin). A separate genetic pathology, as well as some acquired diseases that entail a defect in enzymes and a decrease in the level of vitamins, cause a metabolic disorder of this metabolic product. This leads to its excessive accumulation in cells, intercellular and interstitial fluid, and, finally, in plasma.

A blood test for homocysteine ​​during a routine examination (physical examination, medical examination), as a rule, is not involved, so most people have not even heard of its existence. But many will learn about him, planning the birth of a child. During pregnancy (in a separate category of women), an increased level of homocysteine ​​acquires special clinical significance.

If the concentration of hypocysteine ​​is increased during pregnancy, there is a risk of spontaneous miscarriage, premature birth, thromboembolism (venous), preeclampsia and eclampsia in a pregnant woman, as well as various abnormalities of intrauterine development as a result of fetal oxygen starvation.

Homocysteine: normal rates in women during pregnancy

With increased homocysteine ​​during pregnancy, it primarily deposits on the inner walls of blood vessels, followed by thrombosis.

The result of such a pathological process can be:

  • Inability to bear the fetus.
  • Hypoxia of the fetus.
  • Fetoplacental insufficiency.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Intrauterine hypotrophy.
  • The presence of high numbers of protein in the urine.
  • Edema.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Lack of brain in the fetus.
  • Brain canal failure.
  • Fetal neural tube defects.
  • The development of autoimmune diseases.

When planning pregnancy, the main danger in the case of hyperhomocysteinemia is infertility.

In order to avoid the appearance of an increased level of homocysteine, certain manipulations should be performed:

  • Light physical exertion.
  • A balanced diet with seafood, spinach, cereals, nuts, and legumes.
  • Reception of vitamins of group B.
  • Reception of folic acid.
  • Drug treatment in case of a critical increase in indicators.

Reduced Homocysteine ​​During Pregnancy

A reduced level of homocysteine ​​during pregnancy is not dangerous, but rather benefits. The fact is that this greatly improves the blood supply in the placenta, as a result of which the embryo receives a sufficient amount of nutrients. Therefore, a pregnant woman should not worry if the level of homocysteine ​​in her blood is below normal.

The only negative side is a feeling of weakness, fatigue and deterioration of overall well-being, but it happens that such symptoms are not observed. It all depends on the characteristics of the body of a pregnant woman.

The onset of pregnancy. A decrease in homocysteine ​​levels during the first trimester of pregnancy is not a deviation. Further, the level should reach the established norm. Multiple sclerosis, in which the spinal cord and brain are affected. What to do with low homocysteine ​​during pregnancy

It is strictly forbidden to lead a sedentary lifestyle, this will only aggravate the situation. If a person has sedentary work, you need to arrange light exercises every hour to bring the body into tone. Take walks in the fresh air. If possible, visit the botanical garden and other places with a large number of living plantations, where fresh air abounds.

Pay attention to your diet. Eat more fresh vegetables, berries and fruits. Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol (smoked, canned, etc.). Do not drink coffee and strong tea, it is better to take vitamin premixes. If you can’t do without caffeine, then drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day, but not strong. Visit your healthcare provider on time.

If you adhere to all the requirements and rules during pregnancy and its planning, your homocysteine ​​level will always be normal.

Preparing for Pregnancy Early

– a guarantee of its safe course and the birth of a healthy child. The development of the fetus is influenced by many aspects that deserve close attention, and these include a deficiency or excess in the body

, trace elements and amino acids. One of the important factors is

homocysteine ​​blood level

All kinds of disorders in the metabolism of amino acids of a congenital or acquired nature manifest themselves in the form of symptoms of diseases that are important to identify in a short time. Therefore, medical science offers a range of biochemical analyzes to determine the amount of an amino acid in order to draw conclusions about its normal or pathological metabolism.

One of the most clinically interesting amino acids is homocysteine ​​- an amino acid synthesized inside the body, since its content and absorption from food is negligible. It is formed during the metabolism of methionine, which is an essential amino acid and is found in products of animal origin, primarily in meat and eggs.

After release, part of homocysteine ​​enters the bloodstream, and this is its free fraction, and part is bound to proteins, which makes up the bound fraction. Free homocysteine ​​penetrates the cells and with the help of B vitamins: pyridoxine, cyancobalamin and folic acid breaks down into glutathione and cysteine.

If a person has vitamin deficiency and does not have enough of these vitamins, then the amino acid accumulates in the cell membranes, damaging them. This is reflected in the function of many organs, but the vessels are most affected.

Damage to the inner walls of blood vessels causes their inflammation and the accumulation of fatty deposits, the so-called plaques, which causes multiple narrowing of the lumen of the vessel. Such a disease is called atherosclerosis.

In this regard, the blood supply to internal organs decreases sharply, oxygen starvation develops.

Such an analysis is often prescribed during reproduction, because hyperhomocysteinemia is especially dangerous during pregnancy, when fetoplacental blood flow is disturbed, and the child suffers from a lack of nutrients.

And for a woman, the threat of thrombosis becomes real, since the masses formed inside the vessel can come off and migrate in the vascular bed.

Reasons to increase amino acids in pregnancy

Excess homocysteine ​​can be caused by vitamin deficiency or other metabolic disorders, the use of certain medications (methotrexate, phenytoin) is also increased in people who are fond of fasting, fasting days, plant diets, raw foods or diets with a high protein content. For malicious smokers and coffee lovers, this indicator in the blood test is also significantly higher than normal. Therefore, there are certain preparation rules before donating blood for homocysteine.

Visual image of homocystinuria in children

  • rapid growth, especially the length of the limbs and fingers and toes;
  • pathological thinness due to disproportionate growth;
  • osteoporosis (calcium does not have enough time to absorb in fast-growing bones);
  • subluxation of the lenses of the eyes;
  • mental retardation;
  • convulsive seizures;
  • early atherosclerosis;
  • predisposition to thrombosis and thromboembolism.

Having dealt with some moments of metabolism and the harm caused by increased homocysteinemia, you can decide who is shown a blood test for amino acid content:

  • Cases of homocystinuria in the family, especially in blood relatives, even in the absence of symptoms of the disease.
  • Diagnosis of homocystinuria in children.
  • Examination of pregnant women at risk (in the presence of a complicated pregnancy), when planning pregnancy. Moreover, sex hormones do not affect homocysteine, on which day of the cycle to take an analysis – it does not matter.
  • Confirmed vitamin deficiency, especially deficiency of B vitamins.
  • As an additional examination of patients with a genetic predisposition to diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
  • An analysis is shown for patients with already diagnosed diseases of the cardiovascular system to determine the likelihood of complications in the form of myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis.

How to donate blood correctly, the attending physician should tell, but there are general recommendations, having prepared on them, you can increase the reliability of the results.

The preparation is as follows:

  • A few days before the test, stop taking the medication. If this is not possible, then inform the attending physician, informing the name of the drug, the frequency of administration and dosage.
  • For two or three days, exclude fried, very salty and fatty dishes. Eat mostly plant and dairy foods.
  • Be sure to donate blood on an empty stomach, so starvation is recommended 8-12 hours before the study. The use of pure still water is allowed.
  • Three days before the study, stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Consult with your doctor about the appropriateness of transferring the analysis if in the near future there was an ultrasound or radiographic examination of any area of ​​the body.

Before taking blood, stop drinking alcohol and smoking

In sterile conditions, by puncture of the peripheral vein on the elbow, biomaterial is taken, which is placed in a sterile tube and sent for examination.

First, the patient’s blood is placed in a centrifuge to separate the liquid part of the blood from the formed elements.

Then, in vitro, a special substance is added to the obtained plasma, which will bind to homocysteine ​​molecules and will illuminate them under fluorescent lighting.

The detection of these labels in a test substance is called chemiluminescent immunoassay. This is a modern rapid study, the results are usually known after 5-7 days.

Blood from a vein acts as a biomaterial

In an average person, the level of homocysteine ​​is normally 7-10 micromol / l.

With special diets, taking certain medications, the numbers increase to 15 μmol / L, and this is considered the upper limit of the norm.

But scientists have found that damage to the inner lining of the vessels begins at a homocysteine ​​level of 11–13 μmol / L. Therefore, in this situation, the attending physician will give recommendations on the correction of lifestyle and nutrition.

In children under 12 years of age, the norm is from 4,5 to 5 μmol / L. In adolescents – 6-7 micromol / l, and in boys, indicators can be higher, and this is not considered a deviation.

When determining the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or their complications, doctors are guided by the following figures:

  • low risk – homocysteine ​​level 12 µmol / l and lower;
  • medium risk – homocysteine ​​level 12 – 17 μmol / l;
  • high risk – homocysteine ​​level above 17 µmol / l.


Who needs to be examined?

To date, reliable statistics have been obtained confirming the relationship of elevated homocysteine ​​levels and spontaneous abortion.

Therefore, women who have a history of miscarriages, missed pregnancies, stillbirths, placenta pathology, premature detachment or aging of the placenta, microthrombosis of its vessels, etc., are subject to mandatory examination.

Also, women who cannot become pregnant and seek medical attention with this problem are subject to examination. It is also recommended that women whose blood relatives had thromboses, and related diseases, under the age of 45 be examined.

Possible problems

Homocysteine ​​metabolism is carried out with the participation of folic acid, cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). With a lack of B vitamins, amino acid levels can dangerously rise.

If this happens, the cells will suffer from a high toxic effect. To prevent this, the body neutralizes the amino acid and removes it to the blood. With a violation of the protective forces, the concentration of homocysteine ​​increases, which can lead to the development of diseases.

The amino acid level indicates the presence of possible diseases.

Norm, up to micromol / l Male sex Female gender
Adolescents (puberty)76
Adults6,2 – 155 – 12

The rate of homocysteine ​​in planning pregnancy and in the state itself is different. With a basic norm of 5–12 μmol / L, the level then changes in trimesters: 4–12 μmol / L for the first trimester, 5,7–12,4 for the second and 6–12 for the third.

After childbirth, the amino acid level returns to its normal state in 4-5 days. During pregnancy planning and the first time after conception, it is very important to control the indicator.

With an increase in the level, severe pathologies can develop in the newborn or even a miscarriage.

Before pregnancy, it is necessary to bring the level of methionine back to normal. This will help a balanced diet, the inclusion in the diet of vitamins of group B, folic acid, simple sports exercises. Particular attention is paid to checking the indicator for women who have a history of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature detachment of the placenta.

Hyperhomocysteinemia can lead to damage and activation of endothelial cells (lining of blood vessels), which increases the risk of thrombosis. It’s related:

  • with damage to endothelial cells;
  • selective inhibition of prostacyclin synthesis;
  • inhibition of activation of certain proteins;
  • tissue activator binding blockade.

A high amino acid level increases platelet aggregation due to a decrease in the production of the relaxing factor, nitric oxide by endothelium, tissue factor induction, and stimulation of smooth muscle cell proliferation. The formation of microthrombi and impaired microcirculation leads to reproductive failure, pregnancy can result in miscarriage, infertility amid impaired embryo implantation.

If during pregnancy the concentration of homocysteine ​​is increased, conditions are created to increase the risk of spontaneous miscarriages, premature births, venous thromboembolism, eclampsia and preeclampsia in the expectant mother.

A high level of methionine affects the fetus negatively: the fetus may develop intrauterine abnormalities, it may suffer from oxygen starvation. Hypoxia leads to the birth of children with low body weight.

Hyperhomocysteinemia is one of the causes of the development of generalized microangiopathy in the second trimester of pregnancy. This is manifested by late toxicosis (gestosis), nephropathy. If a child is born, then he is highly likely to die or neonatal complications, for example:

  • anencephaly;
  • bone marrow canal failure;
  • intoxication of the nervous system;
  • vitamin deficiency.

Blood for homocysteine ​​is given as indicated. These include risk factors for increasing amino acid levels:

  • dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system;
  • arterial, venous thrombosis;
  • heredity in the form of heart attacks or strokes;
  • diabetes;
  • kidney failure;
  • endocrine, genetic diseases;
  • advanced age after 60 years;
  • pregnancy;
  • alcohol, drug addiction;
  • previous surgery on the stomach;
  • Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia;
  • homocystinuria – a disease caused by impaired homocysteine ​​metabolism;
  • lack of nutrition of folates, B vitamins, an excess of methionine;
  • prolonged deficiency of thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism, deficiency of sex hormones;
  • psoriasis;
  • hyperproliferative processes;
  • treatment with immunosuppressants, antiepileptic, sulfur-containing drugs, antiphospholipid drugs, antimetabolites (Methotrexate, Cyclosporin, Phenytoin, Eufillin, Metformin);
  • smoking, excessive loads of caffeine.

An increase in homocysteine ​​in the blood may not manifest itself in any way, but it leads to the development of dangerous diseases. To check, a diagnosis is made: a person gives blood from a vein:

  1. She is taken on an empty stomach.
  2. The day before, the patient is prescribed to exclude fatty, meaty foods from the diet, only water is allowed to be taken from the liquid.
  3. Before analysis, alcohol is strictly prohibited.
  4. 20 minutes before the plasma study, you need to provide the patient with complete emotional and physical peace.

The doctor also has the right to conduct a biochemical analysis with a methionine load – the second time the blood is taken after a meal, after which the two indicators are compared. You can check the freshly isolated urine – in a healthy person it does not contain homocysteine.

If the analysis showed the presence of an amino acid above 1 mg / ml, this indicates a pathological development of diseases.

It is important to take freshly isolated urine for analysis, because over time, the amino acid is converted to salt, and it cannot be detected, which will complicate the diagnosis.

If high homocysteine ​​is detected in the blood, this condition is called hyperhomocysteinemia. The substance accumulates excessively on the walls of blood vessels, acts toxicly and damages cells. The body tries to protect the damage by deposits of calcium or cholesterol, which leads to narrowing of blood vessels, clogging of plaques and the formation of blood clots.

A blood test helps to determine the degree of risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, to prevent complications in future pregnancy.

An increase in homocysteine ​​levels may indicate the development of homocystinuria, a rare hereditary disease associated with an amino acid metabolism disorder.

The cause of the development of the disease is the lack of the synthetase enzyme. The disease manifests itself:

  • mental retardation, mental retardation;
  • convulsions;
  • abnormalities of the skeleton, scoliosis, high growth;
  • tendency to thromboembolism, thrombosis;
  • atrophy of the optic nerve, cataract, glaucoma;
  • hypertension
  • red cheeks.

An increase in amino acid level by 5 μmol / L increases the risk of vascular damage, which is life threatening. The reasons for the increased content of homocysteine ​​are:

  • lack of folic acid and B vitamins in the diet and the body as a whole;
  • smoking, excessive drinking;
  • excessive caffeine intake;
  • impaired renal function;
  • homocystinuria;
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • hormone-dependent diseases;
  • avitaminosis;
  • enzyme mutations;
  • diabetes;
  • leukemia;
  • diseases of the heart, blood vessels, skin;
  • taking anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants, antimetabolites and folic acid antagonists, hormonal contraceptives;
  • taking methionine tablets during pregnancy.

Quite often, when conducting a study, a high level of homocysteine ​​is determined. A variety of factors can lead to this condition. In some cases, they act even simultaneously.

With a deficiency of B vitamins, the level of homocysteine ​​is increased. Such vitamin substances include B9, B12, B6, B1. Often this condition manifests itself with an improperly selected diet.

A deficiency of elements can also occur in various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal diseases, accompanied by malabsorption, lead to the fact that vitamins of this group simply cease to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream.

To increase the concentration in the blood of homocysteine ​​can also lead to smoking and alcohol abuse. Future parents should still completely abandon these bad habits. This will not only positively affect the state of their own health, but also increase the likelihood of conception of the baby.

Coffee lovers should also pay attention to the concentration in the blood of homocysteine ​​levels. Scientists noted that the frequent use of this drink can lead to an increase in its concentration in the blood. Limiting the use of this drink can normalize homocysteine ​​levels.

Also, this indicator may be low. This condition is less common in medical practice. If the concentration of homocysteine ​​in the blood is only slightly reduced, then in such a situation, no drug therapy is required.

Doctors take measures only if the level of a given substance in the blood drops to 4 μmol / L or lower. It is important to note that in this case, the conception of a baby is still possible.

In this situation, the general condition of the expectant mother worsens. A woman tolerates the first weeks of pregnancy much worse. In such a situation, as a rule, a simple correction of eating behavior helps.

Homocysteine: role in the body, norm in analysis, when important, causes of increase and decrease

Studies conducted by transplantologists have confirmed that a moderate or moderate form of hyperhomocysteinemia affects the physiological functionality of the transplanted organ. The level of homocysteine, which is in the range of 5,1 μmol / L and higher, is an unfavorable factor that inhibits the transplant in the early postoperative period.

The effect of homocysteine ​​on the results of kidney transplantation is ambiguous, on the one hand, such an operation is itself included in the list of causes that cause an increase in the level of this amino acid. On the other hand, high rates affect the operation of the transplanted organ. In any case, women who have a history of organ transplantation should be tested for homocysteine ​​throughout their entire life.

Treatment of pathology

If the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood is increased, first of all, you need to reconsider your daily diet – exclude the use of coffee and alcohol, eat right. But this method of treatment is suitable for patients with a slight increase in amino acids in the blood, since it is difficult to reduce homocysteine ​​with high numbers with just one diet. What to do if homocysteine ​​level is higher than normal?

  1. Quit smoking;
  2. Increase physical activity on the body – move more, walk, play sports;
  3. Limit the use of foods rich in methionine (cottage cheese, eggs, etc.), and caffeinated drinks;
  4. There are foods high in vitamin B and omega-3 (seafood, fish, legumes, nuts, tomato juice, kefir, buckwheat, oats, beef liver, caviar, rice, millet, etc.);
  5. Additionally take brewer’s yeast and fish oil.

The treatment regimen is individual in each case. Most often, the doctor prescribes taking folic acid, aspirin, heparin drugs and other drugs. Signs of increased homocysteine:

  • weight gain;
  • swelling;
  • decreased urine output.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.