Ask Leyla: Can you help me understand my husband’s inflammatory markers?

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| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

Q:  My husband’s high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is 1.62 and his homocysteine is 13.1. If they both measure inflammation, why is one result normal and one result high?

ts_bloodvials_sm2A:  There are many markers of inflammation however high sensitivity C-reactive protein and homocysteine are not related. 

A high homocysteine represents a glitch in protein metabolism. It’s a byproduct of methionine metabolism, an amino acid. The conversion of homocysteine back to methionine requires ample amounts of B vitamins such as B6, B12, and folate, as well as betaine and trimethylglycine to aid in lowering it. High homocysteine is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and bone fracture. 

Those with the MTHFR polymorphism may have high homocysteine levels, although that is not always the case. Nevertheless, it’s an easy fix in most cases by taking methylated B vitamins such as in Methyl Guard Plus. We like to see homocysteine levels below 8. 

It’s critical to note there are no symptoms of high homocysteine. Only a blood test can reveal if levels are out of range. Because it’s an important risk factor to monitor, ask your doctor for this test since it’s not yet routinely ordered. 

C-reactive protein is a general marker of inflammation in the body but hs-CRP targets inflammation in blood vessels, especially coronary arteries. An hs-CRP reading of 1.62 represents average risk. You can read about targeted therapies to lower CRP on the Intelligent Medicine website

To your health! 

Leyla Muedin has clients all over the country via telephone consultations. No need to travel to New York City for a nutrition consult at the Hoffman Center. Should you require her services, please call our office to set up an appointment: (212) 779-1744.

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