Homocysteine Level Test FAQ
What is a Homocysteine Test?
Why is a Homocysteine test important?
What type of specimen will I submit?
Do I need to fast to take this test?
How long does it take to get test results?
Accesa Labs does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All users should consult with a medical provider for specific health concerns.
Related To The Homocysteine Test
Homocysteine Blood Test - More Information
The homocysteine test measures the blood level of homocysteine, a special type of molecule known as an amino acid.
Homocysteine has gained prominence from its association with cardiovascular disease. Like C-reactive protein, elevated homocysteine blood levels likely indicate an elevated risk for heart disease and damage to the blood vessel walls (especially arteries). As such, for people who want to screen for and trend multiple markers at once, it might make sense to consider something like the heart blood test panel.
One cause of high homocysteine levels that has become more prominent in recent news is a mutation in the gene known as MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase). MTHFR is an enzyme involved with metabolizing homocysteine in the body and mutations in the C677T and A1298C positions of this gene are commonly found in people with high blood levels.
Vitamin deficiencies can also cause homocysteine levels to be too high. In particular, vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and B12 are required to metabolize homocysteine and, in the absence of them, homocysteine cannot be broken down. Folate levels are somewhat easier to test than B6 levels, and vitamin B12 deficiencies can be identified using the standard B12 blood test or the methylmalonic acid (MMA) test to look for early deficiencies. In most cases, adequate supplementation can be done to correct high homocysteine that is the result of these B vitamin deficiencies.
A segment of the population has very high homocysteine levels. These people have a condition called hyperhomocysteinemia which is characterized by homocysteine blood levels greater than 100 umol/L. Typically caused by a genetic (autosomal recessive) mutation, people with homocysteine levels in this range can develop visual problems, disabilities, and abnormal clotting as they age.
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