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Clin Chem. 2000 Aug;46(8 Pt 1):1065-71.

Riboflavin as a determinant of plasma total homocysteine: effect modification by the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism.

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LOCUS for Homocysteine and Related Vitamins, University of Bergen, Armauer Hansens Hus, N-5021 Bergen, Norway.



Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. tHcy concentrations are partly determined by folate, cobalamin, and vitamin B(6) status, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and other flavoenzymes are important for the biotransformation of these vitamins. This motivates the investigation of the possible relationship between riboflavin status and tHcy.


The study had a cross-sectional design and included 423 healthy blood donors, ages 19-69 years. We determined plasma tHcy, serum folate, serum cobalamin, serum creatinine, and MTHFR C677T genotype. In addition, we measured riboflavin and its two coenzyme forms, flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide, in EDTA plasma by capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence detection.


Riboflavin determined tHcy independently in a multiple linear regression model with adjustment for sex, age, folate, cobalamin, creatinine, and MTHFR genotype (P = 0.008). tHcy was 1.4 micromol/L higher in the lowest compared with the highest riboflavin quartile. The riboflavin-tHcy relationship was modified by genotype (P = 0.004) and was essentially confined to subjects with the C677T transition of the MTHFR gene.


Plasma riboflavin is an independent determinant of plasma tHcy. Studies on deficient populations are needed to evaluate the utility of riboflavin supplementation in hyperhomocysteinemia.

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