The Relationship between Neurotransmitter Synthesis and Homocysteine

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Methylation relies on B-vitamin cofactors:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate

for the proper synthesis of the neurotransmitters that play an important role in mood regulation.

The methylation cycle becomes impaired, due to an decline in the B-vitamin cofactors which then leads to a concurrent increase in homocysteine levels. The end result is a disruption in neurotransmitter synthesis.

There is a close relationship between neurotransmitter synthesis and homocysteine formation, and that levels of homocysteine are an effective marker for B-vitamin status, and that changes in homocysteine levels correlate with changes in mood.

A target blood level of less than 7 – 8 µmol/L of homocysteine helps to ensure proper neurotransmitter metabolism and may balance mood during times of stress, depression and anxiety.


Reference:

Coppen A et al. Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12. J Psychopharmacol. 2005 Jan;19(1):59-65.


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