March 13, 2009

Why osteoporosis is now a risk factor for heart attack

If you have osteoporosis, you could have an increased risk of having a heart attack. Fortunately, there's an easy way to fix both problems.

New research shows the connection between osteoporosis and heart disease. It's through high levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is a well-known risk factor for vascular disease. But homocysteine also contributes to hip fractures in women. Those with homocysteine levels over 15 muM, compared to less than 9.0, have a dramatic 21% increased risk of hip fracture.

Why? Higher levels of homocysteine can cause inflammation. Inflammation's a key cause of calcium loss from your bones. And it can cause many other problems, including heart disease and arthritis.

So don't take homocysteine levels lightly. High homocysteine levels alone — without diagnosed disease — appear to cause an increased risk of death. A separate English study on 853 men and women, age 75 and older, showed why. Those in the highest one-third had a doubled risk of all-cause mortality and heart disease deaths. And remember, they didn't have any sign of disease.

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That's why it's vital you have your homocysteine levels checked annually. I like homocysteine levels to be under 10 muM for both men and women. If your level is higher than this, talk to your integrative physician about specific ways to lower your levels.

High homocysteine levels often suggest a deficiency of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid. In many cases, injections of vitamin B12 and oral vitamin B6 (50 mg per day), folic acid (800 mcg per day), choline (found in lecithin), and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane, one gram twice daily) will work quickly.

This is an easy treatment that could save your bones, your heart, and your life.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: "Plasma homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B 12 and the risk of hip fracture: the hordaland homocysteine study," Gjesdal CG, Vollset SE, et al, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2007; 22(5): 747-56.

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