Whole Body Health Sale

Abstracts

ABSTRACTS FOR THE VITAMIN C CONTROVERSY

31. Relationship between plasma homocysteine, vitamin status and extracranial carotid-artery stenosis in the Framingham Study population.

J Nutr 1996 Apr;126(4 Suppl):1258S-65S
Selhub J, Jacques PF, Bostom AG, D'Agostino RB, Wilson PW, Belanger AJ, O'Leary DH, Wolf PA, Rush D, Schaefer EJ, Rosenberg IH
Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

Recent studies demonstrated associations between occlusive vascular disease and hyperhomocysteinemia of both genetic and nutritional origin. In the present study we analyzed plasma samples from the 20th biannual examination of the Framingham Heart Study cohort to determine distribution of plasma homocysteine concentrations with emphasis on relationships to B vitamins and prevalence of carotid artery stenosis. Results showed that homocysteine exhibited strong inverse association with plasma folate and weaker associations with plasma vitamin B-12 and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP). Homocysteine was also inversely associated with intakes of folate and vitamin B-6, but not vitamin B-12. Prevalence of high homocysteine (>14 micromol/l) was 29.3% in this cohort, and inadequate plasma concentrations of one or more B vitamins appear to contribute to 67% of the cases of high homocysteine. Prevalence of stenosis > or = 25% was 43% in men and 34% in women with an odds ratio of 2.0 for individuals in the highest homocysteine quartile (> or = 14.4 micromol/l) compared with those in the lowest quartile (< or = 9.1 micromol/l), after adjustment for sex, age, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and cigarette smoking(Ptrend < 0.001). Plasma concentrations of folate and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate and folate intake were inversely associated with extracranial carotid stenosis after adjustment for age, sex and other risk factors.


32. Folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine status and chromosome damage rate in lymphocytes of older men.

Fenech MF Dreosti IE Rinaldi JR
Fenech MF, CSIRO, Div Human Nutr, POB 10041, Gouger St, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Carcinogenesis 1997 JUL;18(7):1329-1336

Deficient levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 are associated with elevated chromosome damage rate and high concentrations of homocysteine in the blood. We have therefore performed a study to determine the prevalence of folate deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia in 64 healthy men aged between 50 and 70 years, and evaluate the relationship of these micronutrient levels in the blood with the micronucleus frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes. We also performed a placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study to determine whether supplementation of the diet with a daily dose of 0.7 mg (as a supplement in cereal) or 2.0 mg (in a tablet) over a period of 4 months resulted in a significant alteration of folate status, homocysteine status and the micronucleus index. Twenty-three per cent of the men were serum folate deficient (6.8 nmol/l), 16% were red blood cell folate deficient (317 nmol/l), 4.7% were vitamin B12 deficient (150 pmol/l) and 37% has plasma homocysteine levels 10 mu mol/l. In total, 56% of the men had one or more abnormal blood values for folate, vitamin B12 or homocysteine. The micronucleus index of these men (n = 34) in cytokinesis-blocked binucleated cells (19.2 +/- 1.1) was significantly elevated (P = 0.02) when compared to the micronucleus index of the rest of the men who had normal levels of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine (16.3 +/- 1.3, n = 30). Interestingly, the micronucleus index in men with normal folate and vitamin B12, but homocysteine levels >10 mu mol/l (19.4 +/- 1.7, n = 15) was also significantly higher (P = 0.05) when compared to those with normal folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine. This novel result was also supported by the observation that the micronucleus index and plasma homocysteine were significantly (P = 0.0086) and positively correlated (r(2) = 0.172) in those subjects who were not deficient in folate or vitamin B12. The micronucleus index was not significantly correlated with folate indices, but there was a significant (P = 0.013) negative correlation with serum vitamin B12 (r(2) = 0.099). Daily supplementation of the diet with 0.7 mg free folic acid in cereal for 2 months followed by 2.0 mg free folic acid via a tablet produced a 4-fold increase in plasma folate, a 2.6-fold increase in red blood cell folate and a 11% reduction in plasma homocysteine; however, these changes were not accompanied by a reduction in the micronucleus index. In conclusion, it is apparent that elevated homocysteine status, in the absence of vitamin deficiency and low but not deficient, vitamin B12 status are important risk factors for increased chromosome damage in lymphocytes.


33. Homocysteine metabolism and risk of myocardial infarction: relation with vitamins B6, B12, and folate.

Verhoef P, Stampfer MJ, Buring JE, Gaziano JM, Allen RH, Stabler SP, Reynolds RD, Kok FJ, Hennekens CH, Willett WC
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Am J Epidemiol 1996 May 1;143(9):845-59

Elevated plasma homocyst(e)ine levels are an independent risk factor for vascular disease. In a case-control study, the authors studied the associations of fasting plasma homocyst(e)ine and vitamins, which are important cofactors in homocysteine metabolism, with the risk of myocardial infarction. The cases were 130 Boston area patients hospitalized with a first myocardial infarction and 118 population controls, less than 76 years of age, enrolled in 1982 and 1983. Dietary intakes of vitamins B6, B12, and folate were estimated from a food frequency questionnaire. After adjusting for sex and age, the authors found that the geometric mean plasma homocyst(e)ine level was 11% higher in cases compared with controls (p = 0.006). There was no clear excess of cases with extremely elevated levels. The age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio for each 3-mumol/liter approximately 1 standard deviation) increase in plasma homocyst(e)ine was 1.35 (95% confidence interval 1.05-1.75; p trend = 0/007). After further control for several risk factors, the odds ratio was not affected, but the confidence interval was wider and the p value for trend was less significant. Dietary and plasma levels of vitamin B6 and folate were lower in cases than in controls, and these vitamins were inversely associated with the risk of myocardial infarction, independently of other potential risk factors. Vitamin B12 showed no clear association with myocardial infarction, although methylmalonic acid levels were significantly higher in cases. Comparing the mean levels of several homocysteine metabolites among cases and controls, the authors found that impairment of remethylation of homocyst(e)ine (dependent of folate and vitamin B12 rather than on vitamin B6-dependent transsulfuration) was the predominant cause of high homocyst(e)ine levels in cases. Accordingly, plasma folate and, to a lesser extent, plasma vitamin B12, but not vitamin B6, correlated inversely with plasma homocyst(e)ine, even for concentrations at the high end of normal values. These data provide further evidence that plasma homocyst(e)ine is an independent risk factor for myocardial infarction. In this population, folate was the most important determinant of plasma homocyst(e)ine, even in subjects with apparently adequate nutritional status of this vitamin.



34. Folate, vitamin B-12, and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Bottiglieri T, Baylor Univ, Med Ctr, Kimberly H Courtwright & Joseph W Summers Inst Me, Dallas,TX 75246 USA
Nutr Rev 1996 Dec;54(12):382-390

Folate and vitamin B-12 are required both in the methylation of homocysteine to methionine and in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine. S-adenosylmethionine is involved in numerous methylation reactions involving proteins, phospholipids, DNA, and neurotransmitter metabolism. Both folate and vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause similar neurologic and psychiatric disturbances including depression, dementia, and a demyelinating myelopathy. A current theory proposes that a defect in methylation processes is central to the biochemical basis of the neuropsychiatry of these vitamin deficiencies. Folate deficiency may specifically affect central monoamine metabolism and aggravate depressive disorders. In addition, the neurotoxic effects of homocysteine may also play a role in the neurologic and psychiatric disturbances that are associated with folate and vitamin B- 12 deficiency.



35. Lipid peroxidation induced in vivo by hyperhomocysteinaemia in pigs.

Young PB Kennedy S Molloy AM Scott JM Weir DG Kennedy DG
Young PB, Dept Agr No Ireland, Dept Biochem, Vet Sci Div, Stoney Rd, Belfast BT4 3SD, Antrim, North Ireland
Atherosclerosis 1997 Feb 28;129(1):67-71

Much attention has been focused recently on the relationship between homocysteinaemia and the development of premature atherosclerosis. Hyperhomocysteinaemia constitutes as strong a risk factor for the development of the disease as either hypercholesterolaemia or smoking. Although the mechanism involved is unclear homocysteine exhibits prooxidative activity in vitro. This finding suggests that it may be involved in the oxidative modification of low density lipoprotein (LDL). In the current study hyperhomocysteinaemia was nduced in eight domestic pigs by intermittent exposure to nitrous oxide for 4 weeks. At necropsy, cardiac tissue was removed and malondialdehyde (MDA) and the unsaturated fatty acid content were measured and compared with values obtained from air-breathing control animals. Nitrous oxide treated animals had significantly higher tissue concentrations of MDA than the controls. There was also a reduction in the contribution of linoleic and linolenic acids to the total fatty acid content of heart. The hyperhomocysteinaemic animals also had a significantly higher iron concentration in the heart than controls. Hyperhomocysteinaemia was associated with elevations in tissue iron stores and increased in vivo lipid peroxidation.



36. Reduction of plasma homocyst(e)ine levels by breakfast cereal fortified with folic acid in patients with coronary heart disease.

Malinow MR, Duell PB, Hess DL, Anderson PH, Kruger WD, Phillipson BE, Gluckman RA, Block PC, Upson BM
Division of Pathobiology and Immunology, Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, Beaverton 97006-3448, USA.
N Engl J Med 1998 Apr 9;338(15):1009-15

BACKGROUND: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that
cereal-grain products be fortified with folic acid to prevent congenital neural-tube defects. Since folic acid supplementation reduces levels of plasma homocyst(e)ine, or plasma total homocysteine, which are frequently elevated in arterial occlusive disease, we hypothesized that folic acid fortification might reduce plasma homocyst(e)ine levels.

METHODS: To test this hypothesis, we assessed the effects of breakfast cereals fortified with three levels of folic acid, and also containing the recommended dietary allowances of vitamins B6 and B12, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in 75 men and women with coronary artery disease.

RESULTS: Plasma folic acid increased and plasma homocyst(e)ine decreased
proportionately with the folic acid content of the breakfast cereal. Cereal providing 127 microg of folic acid daily, approximating the increased daily intake that may result from the FDA's enrichment policy, increased plasma folic acid by 31 percent (P=0.045) but decreased plasma homocyst(e)ine by only 3.7 percent (P= 0.24). However, cereals providing 499 and 665 microg of folic acid daily increased plasma folic acid by 64.8 percent (P<0.001) and 105.7 percent (P=0.001), respectively, and decreased plasma homocyst(e)ine by 11.0 percent (P<0.001) and 14.0 percent (P=0.001), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Cereal fortified with folic acid has the potential to increase plasma folic acid levels and reduce plasma homocyst(e)ine levels. Further clinical trials are required to determine whether folic acid fortification may prevent vascular disease. Until then, our results suggest that folic acid fortification at levels higher than that recommended by the FDA may be warranted.


37. Vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and folate nutritional status in men with hyperhomocysteinemia.

Ubbink JB, Vermaak WJ, van der Merwe A, Becker PJ
Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Am J Clin Nutr 1993 Jan;57(1):47-53

We measured the vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid nutritional status in a group of apparently healthy men (n = 44) with moderate hyperhomocysteinemia (plasma homocysteine concentration > 16.3 mumol/L). Compared with control subjects (n = 274) with normal plasma homocysteine (< or = 16.3 mumol/L) concentrations, significantly lower plasma concentrations of pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (P < 0.001), cobalamin (P < 0.001), and folic acid (P = 0.004) were demonstrated in hyperhomocysteinemic men. The prevalence of suboptimal vitamin B-6, B-12, and folate status in men with hyperhomocysteinemia was 25.0%, 56.8%, and 59.1%, respectively. In a placebo-controlled follow-up study, a daily vitamin supplement (10 mg pyridoxal, 1.0 mg folic acid, 0.4 mg cyanocobalamin) normalized elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations within 6 wk. Because hyperhomocysteinemia is implicated as a risk factor for premature occlusive vascular disease, appropriate vitamin therapy may be both efficient and cost-effective to control elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations.


38. Vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and folate nutritional status in men with hyperhomocysteinemia.

Ubbink JB, Vermaak WJ, van der Merwe A, Becker PJ
Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Am J Clin Nutr 1993 Jan;57(1):47-53

We measured the vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid nutritional status in a group of apparently healthy men (n = 44) with moderate hyperhomocysteinemia (plasma homocysteine concentration > 16.3 mumol/L). Compared with control subjects (n = 274) with normal plasma homocysteine (< or = 16.3 mumol/L) concentrations, significantly lower plasma concentrations of pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (P < 0.001), cobalamin (P < 0.001), and folic acid (P = 0.004) were demonstrated in hyperhomocysteinemic men. The prevalence of suboptimal vitamin B-6, B-12, and folate status in men with hyperhomocysteinemia was 25.0%, 56.8%, and 59.1%, respectively. In a placebo-controlled follow-up study, a daily vitamin supplement (10 mg pyridoxal, 1.0 mg folic acid, 0.4 mg cyanocobalamin) normalized elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations within 6 wk. Because hyperhomocysteinemia is implicated as a risk factor for premature occlusive vascular disease, appropriate vitamin therapy may be both efficient and cost-effective to control elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations.



39. Hyperhomocysteinemia and low pyridoxal phosphate. Common and independent reversible risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Robinson K, Mayer EL, Miller DP, Green R, van Lente F, Gupta A, Kottke-Marchant K, Savon SR, Selhub J, Nissen SE, et al
Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.
Circulation 1995 Nov 15;92(10):2825-30

BACKGROUND: High plasma homocysteine is associated with premature coronary artery disease in men, but the threshold concentration defining this risk and its importance in women and the elderly are unknown. Furthermore, although low B vitamin status increases homocysteine, the link between these vitamins and coronary disease is unclear.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We compared 304 patients with coronary disease with 231 control subjects. Risk factors and concentrations of plasma homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12, and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate were documented. A homocysteine concentration of 14 mumol/L conferred an odds ratio of coronary disease of 4.8 (P < .001), and 5-mumol/L increments across the range of homocysteine conferred an odds ratio of 2.4 (P < .001). Odds ratios of 3.5 in women and of 2.9 in those 65 years or older were seen (P < .05). Homocysteine correlated negatively with all vitamins. Low pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (< 20 nmol/L) was seen in 10% of patients but in only 2% of control subjects (P < .01), yielding an odds ratio of coronary disease adjusted for all risk factors, including high homocysteine, of 4.3 (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Within the range currently considered to be normal, the risk for coronary disease rises with increasing plasma homocysteine regardless of age nd sex, with no threshold effect. In addition to a link with homocysteine, low pyridoxal-5'-phosphate confers an independent risk for coronary artery disease.


40. Folate and coronary heart disease.

Curr Opin Lipidol 1998 Feb;9(1):17-22
Verhoef P, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB
Division of Human Nutrition and Epidemiology, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Low folate intake is an important determinant of elevated blood levels of homocysteine. Because elevated homocysteine has been shown to be a possible graded risk factor for CHD, sufficient folate intake may be important in the prevention of CHD. The magnitude of the association between folate and CHD is consistent with its effects on homocysteine.