Homocysteine: 56 µmol/L

What does a homocysteine level of 56 mean? Are there any symptoms associated with this level?

A homocysteine level of 56 is considered high. High levels of homocysteine (an amino acid in your blood) are often related to a B vitamin deficiency. A homocysteine level >50 µmol/L may damage the lining of your arteries and can increase your risk of heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and heart attack [1]. High homocysteine is also associated with a greater risk of osteoporosis and dementia [5].
Typically, high homocysteine does not cause any symptoms in adults; however, if it’s related to a vitamin B deficiency, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
  • Pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Tingling hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Mouth sores
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Changes in mood
  • Swelling of the tongue (folate deficiency)
  • Anemia
Learn more about homocysteine and the  ideal range for homocysteine levels.

Factors that could contribute to a homocysteine level of 56

Certain factors and health conditions can increase your risk for high homocysteine levels, including [1, 2]: 
  • Older age (homocysteine levels can increase as you get older)
  • Menopause
  • Being male (men usually have higher homocysteine levels than women)
  • Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day
  • Drug and tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Deficiencies in vitamins B12, B6, or folate
  • Kidney or thyroid problems
  • Cancer
  • Psoriasis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Certain variations of the MTHFR gene
  • Rare inherited diseases, including homocystinuria

What to do if your homocysteine level is 56?

Increasing your intake of B vitamins (specifically folate, B6, and B12) from foods may help lower your homocysteine level naturally. Some good dietary sources include: 
  • Folate: Fruits, green leafy vegetables, fortified bread and breakfast cereals, lentils, chickpeas, beans, and asparagus
  • Vitamin B12: Sardines, clams (including the broth of boiled clams), tuna, trout, beef, milk, and fortified foods like breakfast cereal and nutritional yeast
  • Vitamin B6: Tuna, beef, fortified cereals, milk, chickpeas, chicken, and eggs 
Quitting smoking, limiting your alcohol intake to <1-2 drinks/day, and moderating your coffee intake (3 cups or less/day) may also help lower homocysteine levels.

Medications and supplements used to improve homocysteine levels

In addition to these diet and lifestyle changes, your healthcare provider may recommend certain medications or supplements to help lower your homocysteine level. 


  • Levothyroxine: If you have hypothyroidism, levothyroxine may be prescribed alongside a folic acid supplement to improve thyroid function and lower homocysteine levels [3].
  • Betaine: Also known as betaine anhydrous, or trimethylglycine (TMG), betaine is often prescribed to individuals with homocystinuria along with B vitamin supplements to help control homocysteine levels [4].


Vitamin B supplements are used to treat high homocysteine caused by a B vitamin deficiency. The common dosage to treat low vitamin B is [2]:
  • 50 mg/day of vitamin B6
  • 1,000 µg (1 mg)/day of vitamin B12
  • 2,400 µg (2.4 mg)/day of folic acid, split into three doses

How Elo can help

If you have high homocysteine or suspect you may have a B vitamin deficiency, Elo Health can help. Elo provides curated nutrition recommendations based on your biomarker scores (which include homocysteine and B12) to create personalized supplements that fit your needs. We also provide 1:1 dietitian coaching to further help you reach your health goals. Learn more about how we can help you reduce your homocysteine level and optimize your nutrition here


  1. Homocysteine: Levels, Tests, High Homocysteine Levels. (2018, December 2). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved June 8, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21527-homocysteine
  2. Varga, E. A., Sturm, A. C., Misita, C. P., & Moll, S. (2005). Homocysteine and MTHFR Mutations. Circulation, 111(19). https://doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.0000165142.37711.e7
  3. Ziaee, A., Hajibagher Tehrani, N., Hosseinkhani, Z., Kazemifar, A., Javadi, A., & Karimzadeh, T. (2012). Effects of folic acid plus levothyroxine on serum homocysteine level in hypothyroidism. Caspian journal of internal medicine, 3(2), 417–420. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861905/
  4. Betaine: MedlinePlus Drug Information. (2016, September 15). Retrieved October 3, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a608012.html
  5. Kuo, H., Sorond, F. A., Chen, J., Hashmi, A., Milberg, W. P., & Lipsitz, L. A. (2005). The Role of Homocysteine in Multisystem Age-Related Problems: A Systematic Review. The Journals of Gerontology, 60(9), 1190–1201. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/60.9.1190