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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine May 1995

The Epidemic Of The 20th Century
Is The Medical Establishment Finally Catching Up?

The February 2, 1995 issue of The New England journal of Medicine contained two articles that further substantiate the role that homocysteine plays in the development of atherosclerosis.

This information is not new to life extenders, who have been taking vitamin supplements containing vitamin B6 and folate with every meal to neutralize the formation of toxic homocysteine in the bloodstream, thereby lowering their risk of heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases including some forms of senile dementia.

Here are the facts:

  1. The medical establishment made its initial observation linking plasma homocysteine and atherosclerotic vascular disease more than 25 years ago. (Alternative medicine knew of this fact more than 40 years ago.)

  2. A number of recent clinical trials have consistently linked moderate to high plasma homocysteine levels to coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease.

  3. Pooled results from previous studies show that homocysteine levels in patients with vascular disease are on average 31% higher than in normal subjects.

  4. A recent study of male physicians in the United States showed that when plasma homocysteine levels were only 12% above the high normal range, there was a 3.4-fold increase in the risk of a sudden heart attack.

  5. Most cases involving high levels of plasma homocysteine are associated with inadequate vitamin concentrations.

The conclusions of the two new articles in The New England Journal of Medicine are as follows:

"We have previously demonstrated that the majority of persons with elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations have insufficient concentrations of folate, vitamin B12 or vitamin B6, and other studies have demonstrated that vitamin supplementation effectively lowers moderately elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations to the normal range. The results of our present study provide the rationale for a controlled trial of the effect of homocysteine lowering vitamin therapy on morbidity and mortality from vascular disease..."

"An important contribution to the present study is the demonstration that inadequate folic acid intake is the main determinate of the homocysteine related increase in carotid artery thickening. The studies linking high blood homocysteine levels with vascular disease are consistent, persuasive, plausible biological mechanisms ... and a safe, inexpensive, and effective intervention -- folate supplementation -- is available."


The researchers who wrote the articles about the dangers of homocysteine in The New England Journal of Medicine recommend daily supplementation of 1000-2000 mcg of folate for those with elevated plasma homocysteine levels.

The criminal FDA restricts the amount of folic acid allowed in vitamin supplements to only 400 mcg per daily dose. The FDA does allow 800 mcg of daily folate if the vitamins are intended for pregnant women.

In Europe, folic acid supplements containing 5,000 mcg of folic acid have been sold for more than 25 years.

We include folate in several different nutrient formulas to make it as easy as possible for members to get as much folate as legally possible. Every daily dose of LIFE EXTENSION MIX contains 800 mcg of folate, and every capsule of LIFE EXTENSION BOOSTER and CHLOROPLEX contains 800 mcg of folate.

It is crucial to take folate and B vitamins with every meal because these water soluble nutrients have a very short life in your bloodstream. Since Foundation members are advised to take LIFE EXTENSION MIX in three divided doses, the combination of folate, vitamin B6 and B12 should provide a sufficient homocysteine-lowering effect. Members taking other folate-containing products should experience an even greater reduction in toxic plasma homocysteine levels.