Effects of Mixed Dietary Supplements on Total Plasma Homocysteine Concentrations (tHcy): A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Salah E. Gariballa, Sarah J. Forster, Hilary J. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Although a number of studies have reported raised total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in free-living older people, there are no data on homocysteine response to a mixed nutrient supplement in older patients. A raised plasma homocysteine concentration in older patients is partly a reflection of their co-morbidity, including impaired renal function, and there is uncertainty about the extent to which dietary interventions can improve plasma tHcy. Aim: To determine the plasma tHcy response to dietary supplements during acute illness. Methods: Two-hundred and thirty-six hospitalized, acutely ill older patients, who were part of a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, were assigned to receive a daily oral nutritional supplement drink containing 1.3 mg of vitamin B 2 , 1.4 mg of vitamin B 6, 1.5 μg of B 12, 200 μg of folic acid, or a placebo, for 6 weeks. Outcome measures were plasma tHcy concentration at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6 months. Results: The mean plasma tHcy concentration fell among patients given the supplements (mean difference 4.1 μmol/L [95 % C.I, 0.14 to 8.03), p = 0.043], but tHcy concentration increased between 6 weeks and 6 months, after patients stopped taking the supplements [mean difference -2.0 μmol/L (95 % C.I, -03.9 to -0.18), p = 0.033]. About 46 % of patients in the placebo group and 55 % of patients in the supplement group had hyperhomocysteinemia (>14 μmol/L) at baseline compared with 45 % and 29 % at the end of the treatment period. Conclusions: A mixed nutrient supplement containing physiological amounts of B vitamins significantly reduced plasma tHcy concentrations in older patients recovering from acute illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Dietary supplements
  • Homocysteine
  • Older people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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