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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 May;50(3):222-6. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.11-72. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Lowering homocysteine and modifying nutritional status with folic acid and vitamin B(12) in Indian patients of vascular disease.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India.


Hyperhomocysteinemia is more commonly associated with vascular disease in Indians than in the western populations. It is caused by genetic polymorphisms or dietary deficiencies of the B vitamins. We attempted to identify the association of hyperhomocysteinemia with vitamin B(12) and folate in Indian patients of vascular disease. Homocysteine, vitamin B(12) and folate levels were estimated in 100 controls and 100 patients of vascular disease. Homocysteine estimation was repeated in 73 patients on different vitamin supplements for 6 months. Homocysteine exhibited a significant negative correlation with B(12) only in cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular diseasepatients, and with folate in coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease patients as well as controls. Single daily dose of folate was as effective as a combination of folate and cobalamin in reducing plasma homocysteine concentrations. Low levels of B(12) contribute to the higher incidence of cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease, and low folate levels account for higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease. Moreover, irrespective of the cause of hyperhomocysteinemia, folate is known to ameliorate it. Hence, large-scale corrective measures like food fortification or dietary supplementation with folate might benefit the Indian population and reduce the incidence and morbidity of vascular disease.


folate; food fortification; hyperhomocysteinemia; vascular disease; vitamin B12

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