February 27

Have you had your homocysteine levels checked? A must for pre-conception preparation.


Fertility Naturopath Brisbane

Fertility Acupuncture Brisbane

Michelle is extremely passionate about natural fertility and combines Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine to provide her clients with thorough, holistic and evidence based fertility care.

What is Homocysteine ?

Homocysteine is a sulphur-containing amino acid (building blocks of protein) which is usually present in small amounts inside the cells of our bodies.

It is produced from an essential amino acid called methionine.

An essential amino acid is one that our bodies do not manufacture hence we need to obtain these through food such as eggs, fish and some meats.

Homocysteine is produced during methylation which is an important biochemical process that occurs in the body.

Homocysteine requires Folic Acid/Folate to metabolise it. Folic Acid is supported by other B Vitamins including Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin B 6.

Often when these B Vitamins are low, Homocysteine will be high.

It is now a known fact that a higher level of

Homocysteine in the body is linked with an increased cardio vascular risk.

How does it relate to Pre-Conception Health Care ?

In a recent study, higher levels of Homocysteine have also been found to cause an increased risk of complications during pregnancy. These include lower placental weight, lower birthweight as well as an in increased risk of SGA (small for gestational age at birth ).

The study showed that when Homocysteine was elevated, Folic Acid was below the ideal amount. This contributed not only to the above mentioned conditions but also to pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure and swelling in the hands and feet during pregnancy) and pre-mature births.

How do I get my levels checked ?
You could ask your GP to have your Homocysteine levels tested as part of your pre-conception health preparation. It may help to also show him/her a copy of the study as per the above link. Alternatively, your Naturopath or Clincal Nutritionist would be more than happy to provide you with a request form to have this checked. Bear in mind that it would be an out of pocket expense charged by the testing centre.

What is an ideal level for homocysteine ?

The study suggests that a Homocysteine level between 5 to 6 umol/L is ideal for pre-conception health and pregnancy.

What is the treatment for elevated homocysteine ?

If Folate, Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin B 6 levels are low then supplementation of these nutrients is essential. This in itself would often cause Homocysteine to drop to more acceptable levels.

If on the other hand these vitamins are replete in the body then looking for other causes is necessary.

What else would cause my Homocysteine to be raised ?

Other factors that are thought to raise homocysteine levels include:

A poor diet

A poor lifestyle – especially smoking as well as high coffee and alcohol intake

Some prescription drugs (such as proton pump inhibitors)


Rheumatoid arthritis

Poor thyroid function

For more information on how to best prepare for conception please contact Michelle Blum Natural Health here . The clinic is located on the south side of Brisbane just 8km from the city centre.

Alternatively, you can book an online or in clinic appointment here.


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