Potential Health Risks Later In Life Can Lowered Thanks To a Simple Test

Risks of getting illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases later in life can be lowered thanks to a simple blood text that measures homocysteine levels.

The homocysteine test developed by YorkTest Laboratories, who are known for their allergy and food intolerance tests, can test for high levels of homocysteine which have been found to lead to potential illnesses.

Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in raised levels in blood plasma when body chemistry is out of balance. Homocysteine is biosynthesised from methionine via a multi-step biochemical pathway that occurs in every cell of the body.

The importance of homocysteine as a risk factor is becoming more widely accepted. There are an increasing number of studies that show that homocysteine to be a predictor of potential health problems. Raised plasma homocysteine concentrations can both predict and precede the development of cardiovascular disease including stroke.

A study published in 2010 in the British Medical Journal, showed that homocysteine levels in blood plasma predicts risk of death from cardiovascular disease in older people even better than any conventional measure of risk including cholesterol, blood pressure or smoking. Women with high homocysteine levels find it harder to conceive and are at risk from repeated early miscarriage. Raised levels of homocysteine have also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, declining memory, poor concentration and judgement and lowered mood. Recent research from Oxford University has shown that large doses of vitamin B could halve the rate of brain shrinkage associated with memory loss and dementia in the elderly, and, in the study, it was the elderly people with higher levels of homocysteine that had greater brain shrinkage.

Methods for blood sample collection and handling for plasma homocysteine measurement are critical as, after sampling, homocysteine leaches from the red blood cells into the plasma. Thus it is vital to centrifuge blood samples and separate the plasma from the red blood cells within thirty minutes of collection; not always feasible. YorkTest Laboratories have developed a unique patented plasma separator blood collection device that enables the immediate separation of plasma which is collected into an absorbent pad that can be posted back to their laboratory for testing. YorkTest Laboratories claim that, when sampling using the device, samples are stable for up to 10 days.

If you are found to have raised homocysteine levels a simple change in diet and increase in vitamin intake can help you normalise the levels. YorkTest have consultants who can provide more information and help people stay healthier well into old age.

YorkTest have over 25 years experience in home testing including food and allergy testing and are recommended by leading medical charity Allergy UK. The homocysteine test is available to buy online at yorktest.com for £99 or by calling 0800 074 6185.