An amino acid that occurs in the body as an intermediate in the metabolism of methionine and cysteine.
- Chemical formula: HSCH2CH2CH(NH2)COOH.
- Metabolism of homocysteine requires an adequate supply of folic acid.
- It also lowers the levels of amino acid homocysteine which, when found in high levels in the bloodstream, is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
- Levels of homocysteine, the amino acid linked to heart disease, are also higher in smokers.
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