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Med Hypotheses. 1999 Nov;53(5):421-4.

Can reduced folic acid and vitamin B12 levels cause deficient DNA methylation producing mutations which initiate atherosclerosis?


Atherosclerosis of the vascular system has classically been attributed to elevated serum cholesterol concentrations. Recently, it has been found that reduced serum levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 are related to the etiology of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. These deficiencies lead to inadequate production of S-adenosyl-methionine, creating a condition of hypomethylation. It is hypothesized that this causes hypomethylation of the DNA in cells in the arterial intima resulting in mutation and proliferation of smooth-muscle cells which lead to the formation of atheroma. It is further hypothesized that such action can be reversed by supraphysiological doses of these three vitamins to reduce or remove existing atheroma. It is recommended that all patients suffering from atherosclerosis and having deficiencies of any of these three vitamins and/or an elevation of serum homocysteine receive supplementation to prevent worsening of their condition.

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