Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ever wonder about things that get researched? Just read where Temple University just published a nice article on methionine, an amino acid found in red meats, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, yogurt and some other tasty foods linked to Alzheimers's.

THey found that the diet rich in this particular amino acid could lead to the development of the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. It is nice to know that this can happen and now we understand the mechanism. When we consume too much mewthionine it can be metabolissed into homocysteine leading to a condition called hyperhomocysteinemia. Hyperhomocysteinemia will cause the development of Amyloid B placque which is associated with Alzheimer's. So far so good.

By now you have decided to never eat anything good for you again. A diet rich in trans fats, fried foods and loaded with sugar should suffice. At least you might not get Alzheimer's, right? Not so fast.

Yes hyperhomocysteinemia is not good, that is a fact. High homocysteine levels are also associated with heart disesae. But, what can be done? we suggest having your homocysteine tested and take appropriate action if it is high. So, what is this action, you ask? Vitmains B12 and folic acid.

This brings me to a great book that everyone should read, The Homocysteine Revolution by Kilmer S. McCully, M.D. THis book offers great insight into medicine and polotics.

Back on track here, what the research shows, but did not say, is that we need to be concerned about our homocysteine levels and keep them as low as we can. We like to see levels below 8, however the range goes as high as 15 or so and if you ask you doctor about the level he or she will tell you you are ok if you are at a level of 13 or more. We always suggest testing th homocystenie levels and keeping them below that 8 atleast. Especially when somehting as simple as B12 and folic acid can be the answer.

I suppose the reason the researchers did not talk about that is that now they can do another project to find the way to lower the homocysteine levels. wonder how much that will cost, you know, to find out something we already know.

Dr. Jim

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