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What is homocysteinemia and hyperhomocysteinemia ?

Homocysteinemia is defined as the elevation of the homocysteine level in blood plasma. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a medical condition characterized by an abnormally high level of homocysteine in the blood. Levels of homocysteine above 15 µmol/L are considered to be a possible risk factor for coronary artery disease. Hyperhomocysteinemia has been correlated with the occurrence of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes, however it is unclear whether hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for these conditions. Hyperhomocysteinemia can cause miscarriage and/or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, and can also lead to birth defects.

Deficiencies of vitamin B6, folic acid (vitamin B9), and vitamin B12 can lead to high homocysteine levels but typically can be managed with vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12 supplementation. In addtion, taurine supplementation also has been found to reduce homocysteine levels.

Homocysteine levels in blood serum or plasma can be detected and analyzed using amino acid analysis.

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