You may not have heard of homocysteine but a high level of this toxic substance, which is produced by the body, has been linked to many diseases. In The Homocysteine Solution, Patrick Holford and Dr James Braly reveal the ten simple diet and supplement changes that could lower your level and halve your risk of disease.
On the 5th of July Piatkus publishes The Homocysteine Solution (originally published in 2003 as the The H Factor), a fascinating guide to this revolutionary way to improve your health. Below is an extract from the Introduction. . .
Staying clear-headed and full of energy into old age – this is what we all want. But ensuring that we do depends on how well we can ‘read’ the state of our health. What if there was a single test that could do that, as well as pointing the way forward to a superhealthy future?
This book is about an extraordinary discovery that has taken the world of medicine by storm. Open almost any medical journal and you’ll find something about homocysteine, a substance with a remarkable trait. Like a chemical crystal ball, it reveals exactly what we should be doing to guarantee our future health.
This amazing predictive chemical is an amino acid – a building block of protein – found naturally in the blood. Our levels of it, or our ‘H score’, are more accurate than a cholesterol reading in terms of predicting our risk of a heart attack or stroke, and a better measure than genes of our risk of Alzheimer’s. In fact, your H score predicts your risk of over 50 diseases – including increased risk of premature death from all common causes. It can even tell you how quickly you will age. And by revealing your B vitamin nutritional status, immune system function and the state of your brain, it shows how well your body’s chemistry can roll with the punches.
If this was the whole story, many of us would rather not know. But a high H score is anything but cause for gloom. The reason? It’s remarkably easy to fix. In a mere two months you can ensure your future health, potentially halving your risk of most life-threatening diseases and even slowing down the ageing process. We know how, and we want you to know.
So, let’s say your H score is higher than you’d like. What can you do over the next two months? All the H Factor programme involves are some simple changes to your diet, and a daily homocysteine-busting supplement or two. For a few pence extra a day, you can progress from potential health risk to maximising your health potential.
Using homocysteine as our yardstick, we’ve been researching exactly what kind of diet, supplement and lifestyle put you in the ‘superhealth’ category. We’ve looked at meat versus vegetables, wine versus beer, the effects of coffee, smoking, salt, being overweight and many other potentially harmful or protective foods, drinks and habits. And there are some surprises in store.
As you might expect, excess alcohol and cigarettes are extremely bad news. But do you have to quit completely? Yes, for smoking. No, for alcohol.
Interestingly, there’s no drug yet discovered that lowers your H level, which is probably why the medical profession, used to massive campaigns to launch new drugs, has been slow to embrace this vital breakthrough. With no drug, there’s no great profit to be made. In fact, exactly the opposite. If you do what we recommend in this book, you could bankrupt a few of the pharmaceutical companies who are selling drugs that treat only symptoms of disease, while promoting companies and therapies that treat underlying causes of diseases with the right diet, lifestyle and supplements.
We’ve put all this together into an easy, economical plan. All you do is measure your H score to know exactly where you are right now, then follow our recommendations and see your H score fall.
Alan is a case in point. His father died of heart disease at the age of 56, so not surprisingly, being 56, he was concerned about the history of heart disease in his family. Alan also used to be very active but as he got older he did less exercise – and then he’d have a glass of wine, or two, a night. So he thought he’d get a checkover.
His cholesterol was normal, as was his blood pressure. His homocysteine, however, was 14.6, putting him in the high risk category. He started supplementing B6, B12 and folic acid. Within three months his homocysteine level was 9.6, reducing his risk of a heart attack by more than a third.
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