Increased Homocysteine Levels in Tear Fluid of Glaucoma Patients

A research study shows that people with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) had significantly higher levels of homocysteine (Hcy) levels in their tear fluids. Patients with open-angle glaucoma who also had dry eye disease had significantly higher Hcy levels both in tear fluid and plasma than OAG patients without dry eye disease.

SOURCE: Roedl JB, Bleich S, Schlotzer-Schrehardt U, et al. Increased homocysteine levels in tear fluid of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. Ophthalmic Res 2008;40(5):249-56

Editor’s Note: People with elevated homocysteine levels are more likely to have strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, kidney disease, diseases of the eye, erectile dysfunction, and, especially, heart disease (De Bree A et al 2002).

Homocysteine level is affected by a number of influences, including lifestyle, dietary choices, and genetics. As we age, our ability to absorb nutrients decreases. As a result, less of the important B vitamins are available to help metabolize homocysteine. Homocysteine level is also increased by certain pharmaceuticals, an aging metabolism, smoking, drinking too much alcohol or coffee, lack of exercise, obesity, and stress.

Supplementation of certain B vitamins can help reduce homocysteine levels including folic acid, and Vitamins B6 amd B12. To varying degrees, folic acid and vitamin B12 increase the remethylation of homocysteine back into SAMe. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the conversion of homocysteine into glutathione along the transsulfuration pathway.