Homocysteine metabolism

Homocysteine is a natural, non-proteinogenic amino acid and is formed in the human body as a short-lived intermediate product during the metabolisation of proteins. Within this metabolism, among other things, the amino acid methionine is broken down, which serves the body as an important source of sulphur. Methionine is mainly found in sausage, meat and dairy products. The sulphur contained in methionine is indispensable for joint cartilage, strong tendons and bones and keeps connective tissue elastic

When the essential amino acid methionine is broken down, homocysteine is produced as a waste product. This is either converted back to methionine with the help of vitamin B12 and folic acid or relatively quickly broken down by vitamin B6 to the amino acid cystine.

The vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid, which are needed for homocysteine metabolism, therefore contribute as co-enzymes to a balanced homocysteine level in the blood

Another important task of homocysteine, in addition to its supporting effect on protein metabolism, is to be converted into S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) with the help of various co-enzymes. SAM is the activated form of methionine. It is involved in many cellular detoxification processes and biosyntheses of various neurotransmitters such as adrenaline and serotonin and other biochemical substances such as creatine

Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid, which are necessary for homocysteine metabolism, are supplied through the daily diet. Foods that contain these vitamins are, for example, green vegetables, fruits and cereal products. If a supply of these vitamins is not guaranteed through the normal diet, they can also be supplied externally in the form of food supplements

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