Keep this cholesterol villain from shrinking your brain

Nothing ages you faster than an inflamed heart, bad arteries and a shrinking brain. Not much sends you to the grave sooner either.

And to think it happens every day because of something completely avoidable…

So why aren’t doctor’s catching on? Because after decades of hits and misses, modern medicine refuses to see your body as a magnificent machine where every part — though vital in their separate functions — is dependent on each other as a whole to keep you alive and well.

Enter homocysteine — a naturally occurring amino acid that is created in your body when your body breaks down protein. People who eat an excessive amount of protein and not enough fruits and vegetables tend to have high levels of homocysteine in their blood…

And high levels of homocysteine are extremely hazardous to your health — it’s been linked to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots — and the notorious cholesterol myth.

Well-documented and researched evidence has shown homocysteine to be the true culprit behind plaques — the dangerous build-up that develops in your arteries and damages your heart.

This is the very same plaque that the medical community has been blaming on cholesterol for years. Even though the cholesterol theory has never been proven, everyone believes it has. So the pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars on this myth.

And when you read how easy and inexpensive the cure for high homocysteine is, this will make a lot of sense to you…

But while Big Pharma has had you focused on your LDL and HDL levels, something else sinister may been happening in your body: Not only is homocysteine the real villain in heart disease, it’s also causing your brain cells to die which is causing your brain to age faster — and shrink — leaving you at higher risk for Alzheimer’s.

A chain of dangerous events

No one should really be surprised that homocysteine is proving to have a systemic effect on the entire body.

If you look at your body holistically, and not as a bunch of isolated parts like your doctor does, you’ll see that high levels of homocysteine could easily lead to a chain reaction in your body that results in the downfall of your health — starting with this red flag…

Homocysteine serves as a marker for heart inflammation — and many experts will tell you, inflammation is the root of disease. If your homocysteine levels are high, that means your heart and arteries are already damaged and inflamed. At this point, homocysteine’s negative affect on blood platelets is probably already setting you up for blood clots…

And when blood pumps through inflamed or clotted arteries, some of your vital organs — like your brain, for example — won’t get enough oxygenated blood — and your brain cells die.

According to a research study published in JAMA Psychiatry, those dying brain cells cause your brain to age at a rapid pace, much faster than normal, even if you don’t have dementia.

And the only way to save your rapidly aging and shrinking brain is to reduce the homocysteine levels in your blood, pronto.

Vitamin antidote dashes homocysteine

There is one very effective way to reduce homocysteine levels and slow the aging of your brain — and no, it’s not some crazy drug that requires a script from your doctor and comes with a bunch of worrisome side effects. It’s actually a nutrient found in your food…

The brain-saving antidote to hazardous homocysteine is vitamin B12. In fact, the same research study that demonstrated that homocysteine causes your brain to shrink and age rapidly, also demonstrated that higher levels of B12 can actually slow the aging of your brain.

This makes perfect sense considering that B12 (along with other b vitamins) are necessary for your body to remove homocysteine from your blood stream.

So if you want to avoid the brain shrinkage — and the complete laundry list of health hazards that come with high levels of homocysteine — boost your intake of B12 ASAP. Increase your levels of B6 and B9 too. You can do this by eating B vitamin-rich foods like grass-fed beef, dairy products, eggs, fish, fruits, liver, peas, pork, poultry, rice, shellfish, spinach, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

Or if you think you’re really at risk for high levels of homocysteine (maybe due to a long-term dietary deficiency in essential B vitamins — something vegetarians are at high risk for), invest in B supplements. Believe me, they’ll be worth their weight in gold to keep your heart and brain healthy.

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  1. Hooshmand, F. Mangialasche, G. Kalpouzos, A. Solomon, I. Kåreholt, D. Smith, H. Refsum, R. Wang, M. Mühlmann, B. Ertl-Wagner, E. Jonsson Laukka, L. Bäckman, L. Fratiglioni, M. Kivipelto. “Association of Vitamin B12, Folate, and Sulfur Amino Acids With Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Measures in Older Adults.” JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 27, 2016.
  2. “Three of the B Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12.” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  3. “Heart and Vascular: Homocysteine.” Beaumont Health System. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  4. “High Homocysteine (Holistic).” University of Michigan Healht System. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and