|Homocysteine is an amino acid that is usually broken down and released from the body with no harm done. Some people have a genetic flaw that leaves them deficient in the enzymes responsible for regulation and breakdown of homocysteine, and this toxic amino acid builds up in their system leading to major cardiac events. This is often the case when young, healthy people inexplicably suffer a stroke or heart attack. Even those without the genetic flaw are susceptible, with typical risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and environmental stresses. The B vitamins included in Homocysteine Support Formula (#251) work in conjunction with the methyl cell donor trimethylglycine the breakdown and removal of homocysteine from the system.
How does Homocysteine Support Formula work to help support healthy homocysteine levels?
In healthy people, homocysteine, which is found most abundantly in meat, is metabolized into the system through two separate pathways: re-methylation and trans-sulphuration. The re-methylation of homocysteine converts homocysteine into methionine. The synthesis of homocysteine into methionine is dependent on the enzyme methionine synthase, to which vitamin B12 is a co-factor. Many tissues, including the liver, kidneys and central nervous system depend on methionine for normal operation. Decreased methylation capacity can have adverse effects on cellular growth and production and affect DNA synthesis.
Synthesis of the important antioxidant glutathione is also dependent on homocysteine metabolism. Its synthesis is a result of the trans-sulphuration pathway of homocysteine metabolism, which utilizes vitamin B6 as a cofactor. If not enough homocysteine is converted to glutathione, this naturally occurring antioxidant may be in short supply, and arterial and cellular damage may occur.
TMG acts as a methyl donor in the homocysteine metabolism cycles. It can donate methyl groups to the homocysteine molecule in much the same way vitamins B6 and B12 do, assisting in the conversion to methionine. TMG is also an effective methyl donor because when it loses its third methyl group through donation, it becomes dimethylglycine, a nutrient known to help boost energy. TMG also contributes to the production of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), an important substance for neurotransmitter production.