Homocysteine Testing

Homocysteine testing for pregnancy, cancer and Crohn’s disease

Probably the most important work of a nutrition consultant can be involved with is pre-conceptual care. But the opportunity to bring optimum nutrition to this most basic need for reproduction is usually limited to couples already experiencing difficulty, very often after two or even three failed attempts at IVF. The biggest problem we are likely to encounter in such a situation is encouraging, particularly, the potential mother to wait a further three months before attempting to achieve the desired pregnancy. This is particularly pertinent where miscarriage is involved.

The reason for asking for such a delay is to ensure that she is sufficiently recovered and her nutritional reserves are in place. Achieving this will have big influence on a successful outcome. Getting pregnant at the first opportunity is not necessarily the best option. Such advice has always tended to look very subjective but less so with the male side of the equation. Fertility clinics have often been surprised to see in their testing that the sperm count and sperm motility has improved, usually within two to three months of applying optimum nutrition.

High homocysteine level can be addressed

With the advent of Homocysteine testing it is no longer a subjective issue. The damages of High Homocysteine are explained in a book written by Patrick Holford and Dr James Braly called the ‘H Factor’. In the book he has written, “in an ideal world, a woman should not get pregnant until her H score is below 6 (and) we strongly recommend that ANY woman who either intends to get pregnant or has just become pregnant have a homocysteine test as soon as possible.” Over time this should become a routine procedure, not just for pregnancy, because a high H score is also indicative of risk to all the major western killer diseases long before there are any symptoms

Anyone with a high homocysteine level can with simple change to lifestyle including being attentive to food choice and adding a few supplements can bring their H score within safe bounds within two to three months. This simple action dramatically increases the likelihood of a successful pregnancy with the bonus of reducing health risks later in life.

Another area where we can be less subjective now that this test is available is in the area of helping cancer patients to recover. The hardest decision I have to make in my clinic is when to reduce the supplement programme that we will have developed, usually before or during orthodox treatment. An H test six months to a year after completing orthodox treatment will make for clearer decision-making. The test will give a clear indication of what supplements remain important and in many cases the strengths that are needed. This will also be true for the work we do with patients diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, High Blood Pressure, etc.

Testing homocysteine levels for prevention

Prevention is always easier and cheaper than cure and this test should revolutionise health care once it is as widely used as cholesterol testing.

Article Submitted By
Brian Hampton, The Caring Clinic, Sheffield

Date Published
18/04/08

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