The YorkTest Homocysteine test is a quick and easy home-to-lab finger-prick blood test that is analysed in our laboratory within just 10 working days. Along with the analysis of the levels of homocysteine in your blood, guidance is also provided to help you decrease your homocysteine level risk and, in turn, decrease your overall risk of developing health complications in the future.
What is homocysteine?
Homocysteine is a naturally-occurring amino acid. It is a derivative of protein that is found in blood plasma, leading to an out-of-balance body chemistry which has been linked to a number of conditions, such as dementia.
The body’s metabolism is capable of removing homocysteine within the body. However, if you’re nutrient-deficient, genetically pre-disposed or lead a poor lifestyle, the body can struggle to normalise your level.
Our homocysteine test gives you an insight into what’s going on inside your body, so you can make lifestyle changes to help you take control of your health.
Why is this an important health check?
Discovering your own homocysteine level is an important health check. Raised levels of homocysteine have been implicated in the development of heart disease and strokes. Increased levels have also been linked to:
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Declining memory
- Poor concentration
- Low mood / depression
- Pregnancy problems and miscarriage
Did you know between 10-15% of the population have a genetic defect contributing to raised homocysteine levels? You are also more likely to be at risk if you are overweight, take little or no exercise, smoke or drink alcohol excessively.
The good news is that raised homocysteine levels can usually be brought back to normal levels by simple dietary changes and / or vitamin supplementation. Understanding your current level and the effect this can have on your health is important in understanding how to make improvements to your wellbeing, listen to your body and take control.
What’s included in the homocysteine test?
The homocysteine kit contains all you need to take a small blood sample in the comfort of your own home. Once your sample has been sent for testing, you can expect your results within 10 working days. Not only will you receive your confidential results quickly and efficiently, but we also provide you with supporting guidebook to help you make small, but important, lifestyle changes. To see example results, please click here
What's included in the kit?
2 x Sterile Lancets
Yellow lancets gently prick the skin through the click of a button
1 x container and dropper bulb
The container is used to securely hold your blood sample
1 x Plaster
Seals the tiny pin-prick mark on your finger and keeps it clean
1 x dropper bulb
The mini dropper bulb picks up a small amount of blood and allows you to release it onto the plasma card
1 x pot collection holder
This holder keeps your container steady and ready, keeping you completely hands-free
1 x plasma separator device
This card separates your plasma
1 x alcohol free cleansing wipe
Clears dirt and bacteria away from the skin
1 x Customer Details Form
Simply sign the Customer Details Form
1 x Prepaid envelope
Post your sample back to us, fuss-free
Elevated levels can be symptomless. Therefore, if your levels are raised, you may not be aware until you’ve taken the YorkTest Homocysteine test.
In some cases, you may feel fatigued, have problems falling asleep, or feel odd pains here and there, like cramps or arthritis.
Raised homocysteine levels have been linked to disease development, such as cardiovascular disease, dementia and osteoporosis. Therefore, if you’re concerned about your current wellbeing, this little test can provide a big insight into your health.
High homocysteine levels can affect anyone, though levels can increase with age. Factors which are thought to raise levels of homocysteine are:
- Vegetarian / vegan diet
- Poor diet and lifestyle, especially smoking and high alcohol intake
- Some prescription drugs
- Poor thyroid function
- Conditions such as diabetes
The good news is that the causes of raised homocysteine can usually be brought down through supplementation, a balanced diet and lifestyle changes.
Identifying your homocysteine level can be the first step in making positive changes to your health.
Genetics can play a part in elevated homocysteine levels, but not always. There’s a rare, but serious condition called Homocystinuria (HCU) where there is a deficiency or lack of mediator molecules which help break homocysteine levels down. This condition is usually diagnosed in your childhood years.
There is a milder condition called hyperhomocysteinemia. This is when the mediator molecules become less efficient at breaking down your homocysteine levels and, therefore, homocysteine levels increase as a result.
Just like cholesterol, family history and genetic make-up can play a part in causing raised levels as can obesity and a lack of exercise. Even people with an active, healthy lifestyle may still be at risk, if there is a family history of high levels of homocysteine or disease.
If your homocysteine levels are raised, you can implement simple lifestyle changes to decrease your level. This could be through small dietary changes, such as cutting back on your beer and wine, or making sure you’re keeping active with 30-minutes of moderate exercise a day. Even reducing your stress levels can help.
Fundamentally, those with raised homocysteine levels require supplementation and/or dietary changes to make a difference. Should you have a raised homocysteine level, YorkTest can advise on suitable supplementation.
Small changes make a big difference. To help even further, when you receive your results you’ll be given supporting material to help you decide what lifestyle factors to improve on and how to start actioning them.
This test is available to anyone who is pursuing better health. People who are at risk of a stroke, heart attack or those who have a family history of coronary artery disease. In particular, those who are:
- Strict vegetarians / vegans
- At risk of a stroke, heart attack or those who have a family history of coronary artery disease
- Stress sufferers
- Diagnosed with diabetes, poor thyroid function, migraines or osteoporosis as homocysteine levels can be raised in those with the above conditions
- Concerned for their future health
Are you drinking more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day or 3 cups of coffee? Are you a smoker? You, too, could benefit from this test’s insights. The older you are, the more susceptible you are to high homocysteine levels, too.
Your individual homocysteine level could be an indicator of potential health problems. As a result, the importance of homocysteine can be a useful marker for your health and wellbeing.
Lowering your level, if raised, could be beneficial to your health and may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes if lifestyle changes are implemented.