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Healthy Heart Reports

Homocystine Increases Risk Of Heart Attack For Women Also

Women with high blood levels of homocysteine are as likely as men of the same age to develop a heart attack (1) or form clots (2). This is surprising because the female hormone, estrogen, is supposed to protect a woman from heart attacks.

Lack of any one of the vitamins folic acid, B12 or pyridoxine raises blood levels of homocysteine to cause plaques and clots to form in arteries. Folic acid is found in the germ in whole grains. Grinding a whole grain produces flour that turns rancid very quickly. To prolong shelf life, the miller removes the germ containing folic acid from the grain before he grinds it, producing a flour that contains no folic acid. Lack of folic acid causes homocysteine to accumulate in the bloodstream and increase risk for heart attacks, clots, birth defects and strokes, so the United States Congress legislated that folic acid be added to all commercial flour.

Anyone who suffers heart attacks, clots or has given birth to children with an abnormally formed spinal collum should get a blood test for homocysteine. If it is high, take the vitamins B12, folic acid and pyridoxine.

1) P Verhoef, R Meleady, LE Daly, IM Graham, K Robinson, GHJ Boers. Homocysteine, vitamin status and risk of vascular disease - Effects of gender and menopausal status. European Heart Journal, 1999, Vol 20, Iss 17, pp 1234-1244.

2) WA Wuillemin, M Solenthaler. Hyperhomocysteinemia and thrombotic vascular disease.Vasa - Journal of Vascular Diseases, 1999, Vol 28, Iss 3, pp 151-155.


Copyright 1999
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

For more recipes, refer to the The Healthy Heart Miracle book.