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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Sep;56(9):850-6.

Effect of riboflavin supplementation on plasma homocysteine in elderly people with low riboflavin status.

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1
Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of riboflavin supplementation on plasma homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in healthy elderly people with sub-optimal riboflavin status.

DESIGN:

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled riboflavin supplementation trial.

SETTING:

Community based study in Northern Ireland.

SUBJECTS:

From a screening sample of 101 healthy elderly people, 52 had sub-optimal riboflavin status (erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient, EGRAC>or=1.20) and were invited to participate in the study.

INTERVENTION:

The intervention had two parts. Part 1 was a 12 week randomized double blind, placebo-controlled intervention with riboflavin (1.6 mg/day). Following completion of part 1, the placebo group went on to part 2 of the study which involved supplementation with folic acid (400 micro g/day) for 6 weeks followed by folic acid and riboflavin (1.6 mg/day) for a further 12 weeks, with a 16 week washout period post-supplementation. The purpose of part 2 was: (a) to address the possibility that homocysteine-lowering in response to riboflavin may be obscured by a much greater effect of folate, and that, once folate status was optimized, a dependence of homocysteine on riboflavin might emerge; and (b) to demonstrate that these subjects had homocysteine concentrations which could be lowered by nutritional intervention.

RESULTS:

Although riboflavin supplementation significantly improved riboflavin status in both parts 1 and 2 of the study (P<0.001 for each), tHcy concentrations were unaffected (P=0.719). In contrast, folic acid supplementation (study part 2) resulted in a homocysteine lowering of 19.6% (P=0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Despite the metabolic dependency of tHcy on riboflavin, it did not prove to be an effective homocysteine-lowering agent, even in the face of sub-optimal riboflavin status.

PMID:
12209373
DOI:
10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601402
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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