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J Nutr. 1994 Oct;124(10):1927-33.

Vitamin requirements for the treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia in humans.

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Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa.


We have previously shown that a modest vitamin supplement containing folic acid, vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6 is effective in reducing elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations. The effect of supplementation of the individual vitamins on moderate hyperhomocysteinemia has now been investigated in a placebo-controlled study. One hundred men with hyperhomocysteinemia were randomly assigned to five groups and treated with a daily dose of placebo, folic acid (0.65 mg), vitamin B-12 (0.4 mg), vitamin B-6 (10 mg) or a combination of the three vitamins for 6 wk. Folic acid supplementation reduced plasma homocysteine concentrations by 41.7% (P < 0.001), whereas the daily vitamin B-12 supplement lowered homocysteine concentrations by 14.8% (P < 0.01). The daily pyridoxine dose did not reduce significantly plasma homocysteine concentrations. The combination of the three vitamins reduced circulating homocysteine concentrations by 49.8%, which was not significantly different (P = 0.48) from the reduction achieved by folate supplementation alone. Our results indicate that folate deficiency may be an important cause of hyperhomocysteinemia in the general population.

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