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Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;57(3-4):177-82. doi: 10.1159/000321538. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Effect of antioxidant vitamins on the plasma homocysteine level in a free-living elderly population.

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Institutes of Nutritional Science, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.



The factors influencing total plasma homocysteine levels (tHcy) are of special interest in the attempt to reduce cardiovascular risk.


This investigation aimed to assess the independent effects of antioxidant vitamins on tHcy in elderly people.


Our cross-sectional analysis included data of 184 subjects (≥60 years) from the longitudinal study in an aging population in Giessen (GISELA), Germany. We examined the effects of plasma levels, intake and supplementation of vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene on tHcy.


The mean tHcy was within the normal range in this population. Serum folate, the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and plasma vitamin C showed a negative association with tHcy in simple regression analysis. In a subsequent multiple regression analysis, eGFR, serum folate, and plasma vitamin C were the relevant independent predictors of tHcy. Intake and supplementation of vitamin C, as well as plasma levels, intake and supplementation of vitamin E, and β-carotene were not associated with tHcy.


Vitamin C may be an independent predictor of tHcy in free-living elderly people and, therefore, should be considered in attempts to reduce tHcy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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