Advanced Methyl Caps
By VRP Editorial Staff
Homocysteine—an amino acid and free radical generating metabolite of methionine—is recognized as an important risk factor for heart disease. Data published in 1992 as part of the Physicians’ Health Study found that healthy US physicians with highly elevated homocysteine levels, even those with no prior history of heart disease, faced a more than three-fold increased risk of suffering a heart attack over a five year period. In 1993, researchers reviewing data from more than 1,000 men and women enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study found that high homocysteine levels were common—affecting 29% of people—and that homocysteine levels were strongly associated with low dietary and blood levels of B6, B12, and folate (folic acid). There is also considerable evidence that homocysteine may initiate arteriosclerotic damage.
Animal studies confirm that diets deficient in vitamin B6 accelerate atherosclerotic lesions and increase incidence of thrombosis (B6 also reduces platelet aggregation). Observational studies have also shown that patients with a history of myocardial infarction and occlusive arterial diseases of the brain and heart have lower serum levels of pyridoxal phosphate (the activated form of B6). In addition, several human experimental trials have recorded reductions in serum homocysteine levels with administration of pyridoxine in those with heterozygous homocystinuria.
Vitamin B12 is a particularly important coenzyme that is required for the proper synthesis of DNA. B12 also supports the action of vitamin C, and is necessary for the digestion and absorption of foods, for protein synthesis, and for the normal metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Additionally, vitamin B12 prevents nerve damage by contributing to the formation of the myelin sheath that insulates nerve cells. B12 also works with folic acid to control homocysteine levels.
Folic acid is involved in the synthesis of RNA and DNA, energy production and protein metabolism. Folic acid is also required for the production of S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), and for keeping homocysteine levels blood from rising. Treatment with 10 mg of folic acid (along with 240 mg pyridoxine) has proven effective in controlling homocystinuria, reducing homocysteine levels 39% following methionine loading in 20 patients with occlusive arterial diseases. In another trial, using a combination of choline, folic acid, riboflavin (vitamin B2), troxerutin (antioxidant flavonoid derivative), and vitamin B6 in 12 survivors of myocardial infarction, significant reductions of homocysteine (57%) were observed. Significant reductions in cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (79%) occurred in this trial as well.
Betaine (trimethylglycine) is an oxidative metabolite of choline that has been used in at least two studies on patients with homocystinuria. Daily administration of six grams produced significant reductions in plasma methionine and homocysteine with near normalization to controls without side effects. A study by Dr. Nicholas Dudman of the University of New South Wales involved 10 people with homocystinuria who took betaine plus B6 and folic acid for almost 13 years. Dr. Dudman’s study found that the betaine, B6, folic acid combination kept homocysteine levels to one-fourth their pre-betaine level, with no side effects.
VRP’s Methyl Caps provide four vital nutritional components that have been shown to be most effective in promoting healthy homocysteine levels: B6, B12, folic acid and betaine.
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