Folic acid is presently the mainstay of treatment for most subjects with elevated plasma homocyst(e)ine concentrations [Plasma or serum homocyst(e)ine, or total homocysteine, refers to the sum of the sulfhydryl amino acid homocysteine and the homocysteinyl moieties of the disulfides homocystine and homocystein-cysteine, whether free or bound to plasma proteins.] Changes in homocyst(e)ine in response to folic acid supplementation are characterized by considerable interindividual variation. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that contribute to heterogeneity in short-term responses to folic acid supplementation. The effects of folic acid supplementation (1 or 2 mg per day) for 3 wk on plasma homocyst(e)ine concentrations were assessed in 304 men and women. Overall, folic acid supplementation increased mean plasma folate 31.5 ± 98.0 μmol/L and decreased mean plasma homocyst(e)ine concentrations 1.2 ± 2.4 μmol/L. There was evidence of substantial interindividual variation in the homocyst(e)ine response from -18.5 to +7.1 μmol/L, including an increase in homocyst(e)ine in 20% of subjects (mean increase 1.5 ± 1.4 μmol/L). Basal homocyst(e)ine, age, male gender, cigarette smoking, use of multivitamins, methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase, and cystathionine β-synthase polymorphisms accounted for 47.6% of the interindividual variability in the change in homocyst(e)ine after folic acid supplementation, but about 50% of variability in response to folic acid was not explained by the variables we studied.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry
- Cell Biology