The simple blood test that could save your heart and your brain

I know I’ve written about homocysteine before. But it’s worth bringing up again. In fact, I believe everyone should have their homocysteine levels tested. A high level of this amino acid points to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke — but that’s not all it tells you.

Homocysteine is also a smoking gun for other serious issues — like brittle bones in women and neurological problems.

And evaluating your levels only requires a simple blood test. Every lab offers it, so it’s easy to order one. (If your doctor won’t order one for you for some reason, you can order your own via a company called Direct Labs. Just visit their website at Or call 800-908-0000 and reference account code: R-OVH.)

If it turns out your levels are high, the good news is controlling homocysteine is easy to do. And you don’t need a long list of medications to manage it. You just need to take the right vitamins.

Recently, I explained how taking a simple B vitamin can drive down homocysteine levels. But a new study from Australia revealed that omega-3 fatty acids can also lower homocysteine.

This conclusion appeared recently in the journal Nutrition Research. And to top it off, researchers went on to discover that combining omega-3s with B-vitamins — including folic acid, B6, and B12 — can amplify the homocysteine-lowering effect.

I had no idea these two nutrients formed such a powerhouse synergy. But I can’t say I’m too surprised.

I prescribe B-vitamins to most of my patients — especially ones with heart concerns. And I also prescribe fish oils to a good 99 percent of my patients. So it’s no wonder most of them have zero issues with high homocysteine!

This latest study analyzed results from more than 20 trials on omega-3 supplementation, both alone and in combination with B-vitamins. And here’s what researchers found: Anywhere from 200 to 6,000 mg of omega-3s daily were linked to a 8.5 percent lower homocysteine level.

And once again, the effect was even greater when combined with folic acid, B6, and B12.

While this is the first trial to support such as simple combo for homocysteine control, it’s not the first study to suggest that these two supplements work better together.

With all the focus on the latest and greatest stars, it’s easy to take old standards like B-vitamins and fish oil for granted. When in fact, recent research shows that B vitamins can stall brain atrophy by as much as 40 percent…if you also have ample omega-3 levels.

But low levels of these essential fatty acids appear to cancel out the brain benefits of B-vitamins altogether.

There’s one last thing to keep in mind when you’re dealing with B-vitamins. Some people have a genetic mutation called “MHTFR.” A simple blood test will tell you if you fall into this camp. And if you do, it means you won’t be able to metabolize regular B-vitamins properly.

But don’t panic. In this case, you simply need to take the methylated forms of these vitamins, such as methylcobalamin (methylated B12). These are higher quality supplements anyway — and luckily, they’re also readily available.

In the meantime, you can learn more simple, natural ways to keep your heart healthy in my special report The World’s Easiest Heart Disease Cure. You can learn more about it or order a copy by clicking here.