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Am J Cardiol. 1999 Mar 15;83(6):821-5.

Reduction of homocysteine levels in coronary artery disease by low-dose folic acid combined with vitamins B6 and B12.

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Department of Cardiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.


An increased plasma homocysteine concentration is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Folic acid lowers homocysteine but the optimal dose in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is unclear. This placebo-controlled, single-blind, dose-ranging study evaluates the effect of low-dose folic acid on homocysteine levels in 95 patients aged 61 +/- 11 years (mean +/- SD) with documented CAD. Patients in each group were given either placebo or 1 of 3 daily supplements of folic acid (400 microg, 1 mg, or 5 mg) for 3 months. Each active treatment arm also received 500 microg vitamin B12 and 12.5 mg vitamin B6. Total plasma homocysteine levels were measured after 30 and 90 days. Folic acid 400 microg reduced homocysteine levels from 13.8 +/- 8.8 to 9.6 +/- 2.0 micromol/L at 90 days (p = 0.001). On 1- and 5-mg folic acid, levels decreased from 13.0 +/- 6.4 to 9.8 +/- 4.0 micromol/L (p = 0.001) and from 14.8 +/- 6.9 to 9.7 +/- 3.3 micromol/L (p < 0.001), respectively. The decrease was similar in all treatment groups. There was no significant change with placebo. Although the sample size is small, these findings suggest that daily administration of 400 microg/day folic acid combined with vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 may be equivalent to higher doses in reducing homocysteine levels in patients with CAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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