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RNPA Intensive - Learning Experience

“In a year’s time after taking the RNPA Learning Intensive, my career, my health, my family, my very life has been transformed. I am forever grateful” — Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA

“The way of the future of absolute must if you want to make and be the difference in righting the wrongs of healthcare. Kare is a wonderful mentor who has put her soul into this program. Passion, Vision, Perseverance.” — Lana Benton, RN, iRNPA

“The forethought, experience, openness, philosophy and preparation provides all the tools, thought process, and confidence to begin and succeed as an iRNPA.” — Leta Gill, RN, iRNPA

“My experience attending the iRNPA program was a refreshing one, to say the least. This program was packed with life changing information that is not readily taught or available to RN's. This program equipped me with the tools I need to be an iRNPA!  If you are ready for a change after working for many years in the clinical setting, and are driven to help patients and families, this is the program for you!  Karen is a wealth of knowledge that is unmatched in the advocacy process.” — Jamie Long

“Thank you so much for putting together such an incredible RN PA intensive course!  It is truly intensive but so worth it!  I learned a lot and will be using the Medical Time Line and lab spreadsheet with as many clients as i can.  All great information and can’t wait to get my speaking engagements lined up now that I have your fantastic power points!” —  Nan Wetherhorn, Health Care Advisor,

Homocysteine: a key to a healthy aging brain and healthy hearts. What is homocysteine you ask?



homocysteine-levelHomocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid (protein) in the blood that requires  vitamin B12, folic acid, and other vitamins to be converted to another essential amino acid – methionine, which is protective of your heart. The normal role of homocysteine in the body is to control growth and support bone and tissue formation. When homocysteine levels rise, they quickly begin to damage the cells and tissues of arteries and stimulate arteriosclerotic plaque growth (hardening of the arteries).

Deficiencies in folic acid (folate), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, or betaine may lead to hyperhomocysteinemia, a medical condition characterized by high levels of homocysteine in the blood.  Cigarette smoking, caffeine and alcoholism can also raise homocysteine levels.

What health effects does high homocysteine have?  This can be one of the cause agents of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and may also increase the tendency to create blood clots. Atherosclerosis raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Dr. Andrew Weil explains also that “some evidence suggests that people with high homocysteine levels have twice the normal risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.”

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Western Australia and Royal Perth Hospital recruited 358 people over the age of 50 to determine if homocysteine levels may be associated with cognitive impairment in older adults with depressive symptoms. 

The researchers found that people who had major depression and high homocysteine levels performed significantly worse on the cognitive tests. Participants who had high homocysteine levels without major depression had lower scores than those with normal homocysteine levels. Furthermore, those with high homocysteine levels were almost twice more likely to show cognitive decline on several tests.



What foods raise homocysteine levels?  A diet high in animal protein will raise homocysteine levels while plant protein foods – peas, beans and nuts – can help to lower them.  


What food lower homocysteine levels?  Interestingly, foods that are high in folate (folic acid) can help to lower homocysteine levels.  Consider adding:  chickpeas, spinach, egg yolk, parsley, pumpkin seeds, almonds, broccoli, walnuts, whole egg, avocado, oranges.  

Foods rich in Vitamin B12 can also be effective:  mackerel, salmon, trout, egg yolk, lamb, whole egg, beef, tuna, cottage cheese, chicken and cow's milk.


Are any supplements helpful?  Considering the fact that folic acid (folate) is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the Western world, adding that would be beneficial – typically in the form of folate rather than folic acid.  Vitamins B6 and B12 will also assist in lowering high homocysteine.

Testing?  If you are at risk for heart attacks or strokes, or think you may be, ask your physician.  This is a simple blood test that most insurance plans cover.

Would it be helpful to learn a bit more to consider whether or not you are at risk?  

Contact us!

RN Patient Advocates, PLC

3400 West Goret Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: 520-743-7008
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