The Basis of Differential Responses to Folic Acid Supplementation

Ioana Cotlarciuc, Toby Andrew, Tracy Dew, Gail Clement, Raj Gill, Gabriela Surdulescu, Roy Sherwood, Kourosh R. Ahmadi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background/Aims: Elevated levels of total homocysteine (tHcy) are associated with an increased risk of many common diseases. Supplementation with folic acid has been shown to significantly reduce tHcy levels. We used the classical twin model to partition the variability in changes in plasma tHcy levels through folic acid supplementation into genetic, environmental, and confounding epidemiological factors. Methods: We carried out an intervention study of folic acid using 101 healthy, female, identical and non-identical twins aged 50-80 years. Each twin was administered folic acid (0.8 mg/day) for 6 weeks. Total plasma folate, cobalamin and tHcy were measured at both baseline and after dosing. We calculated the heritability and tested for associations between the MTHFR C677T functional variant and response to folic acid supplementation. Results: Supplementation with folic acid led to a significant reduction in tHcy levels. The mean tHcy changed from 12.14 to 10.42 mu mol/l after supplementation (p <10(-5)). Moreover, the change in tHcy levels was highly heritable (64%), not associated with the C677T functional variant at MTHFR and not confounded by age, BMI or diet. Conclusions: Our results highlight the need to identify genetic factors associated with biomarkers of response to folate supplementation. Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-109
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal Of Nutrigenetics And Nutrigenomics
    Volume4
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Folate
    • Homocysteine
    • Stroke
    • Twin studies
    • FOLATE STATUS RESPONSE
    • PLASMA HOMOCYSTEINE
    • METHYLENETETRAHYDROFOLATE REDUCTASE
    • CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE
    • SERUM HOMOCYSTEINE
    • VASCULAR-DISEASE
    • CONTROLLED-TRIAL
    • YOUNG-WOMEN
    • RISK
    • STROKE

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