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Have you ever been advised to test your homocysteine levels or you know someone who did? It is the most efficient indicator of a sickness in the body – so good that people with its inappropriate levels are facing an increased risk of death within a few years. Addressing this is simple – up to two nutritional deficiencies need to be remedied and the test itself is simple and relatively cheap. This inexpensive test could save thousands but it is hardly ever recommended to patients. The answer – already discussed in other essays – is the cost. None can make profit form such cheap therapy – don’t blame the doctors though, they have very little influence over these matters – as little as your bus driver has on emissions of noxious gases from his vehicle, regardless of his personal preference of clean fuels.

What’s the mystery then? I will make it sweet and short (enticing you to educate yourselves further). It is a kind of an acid that rises when the body lacks substances responsible for its excretion. High levels of homocysteine increase the risk of cardiac diseases, cancers and bone degeneration. Even though cholesterol is given especially bad press for clogging the arteries, it wouldn’t be as noxious if the arteries weren’t already weakened by homocysteine. In regard to depression, some of its cases are caused by a genetic issue that makes a correct methylation process impossible; treatment is quite straightforward (and prevents serious harm to ones arteries, too).

How does methylation work? Many processes in the body is regulated by alkylation with a methyl groups, supplied with the foods, and then linked with folic acid and methionine to be distributed throughout the body in the bloodstream. Several vital substances are created as a result and these regulate activity of your genes (linking is impossible without methyl groups).

If we were diagnosed with high levels of homocysteine, we may consider ourselves lucky. It is a quite likely culprit of mood disorders and it may be possible to come back to full health in the course of weeks (unfortunately, it is not always so easy). Purchasing methylated folic acid is the optimum solution – this active version of the acid can address the genetic disorder mentioned previously. Add large doses of B12 (methylated) and B6 (any form) – I recommend Iherb.com. You can also take betaine (do not confuse it with betaine HCL) or/and choline (to be found in eggs – 5 per day - or soy lecithin, in case of the latter take 10 grams a day). Betaine/choline are to be taken for 2-3 week, prolonged periods of ingestion are inadvisable.

Magnesium is one of two other important supplements. When methylation process re-starts the need for magnesium increases dramatically and patients may experience insomnia and agitation as the body is asked to perform an activity that was forgotten for years. Supplementation with magnesium may be a deal breaker making full recuperation impossible.

You are best advised to purchase an N-acetyl-cysteine (do not confuse with n-acetyl-carnitine, both are known as NAC) – it is one of most beneficial supplements: in trials it lowered the risk of flu twice, assisted with auto-immune diseases and increased life expectancy of cancer sufferers. The dosage is 1-2 grams daily. If you feel very agitated - stop, leave magnesium (and potentially cysteine) as your only supplement until the side effects subside. Indeed, none knows for sure why this is a common reaction to a re-start of methylation. Doctors claim that active magnesium replaces inactive one within bodily cells (whatever this could mean) while others state that it is a result of elimination of chronic infections. Maybe it is a result of activation of habitually dormant genes? Whatever the cause, expect a flu-like feeling and insomnia. Harmless but annoying. None wants to keep stuffing the body with pills until the grave – it is only vital at the beginning of your therapy. The supplements help to mitigate years of damage – yet, once one is out of the woods, a correct diet is the key. Consider eating plenty of beetroots, which are a great source of both: betaine and methylated folic acid.