Research: CROWE and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 162

Abstract

CROWE and COLLEAGUES, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial was to determine whether homocysteine lowering with a B vitamin supplement affects the proportion of (n-3) long-chain PUFA in plasma phosphatidylcholine.

Background

There is evidence to suggest that folate, homocysteine, or both affect the (n-3) long chain PUFA composition of tissues; however, this evidence is derived largely from experiments with animals and small observational studies in humans. Results from randomized controlled trials are needed.

Methodology

The authors conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial involving 253 participants, 65 y or older, with plasma homocysteine concentrations of at least 13 micromol/L. Participants in the vitamin group (n = 127) took a daily supplement containing 1000 microg folate, 500 microg vitamin B-12, and 10 mg vitamin B-6 for 2 y. The fatty acid composition of plasma phosphatidylcholine was measured at baseline and at 2 y.

Results

Plasma homocysteine concentrations during the course of the study were 4.4 micromol/L lower in the vitamin group than in the placebo group. The proportions of eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids in plasma phosphatidylcholine did not differ between the vitamin and placebo groups at 2 y; the mean differences after adjusting for baseline values and sex were -0.03 (99% CI: -0.22, 0.16), 0.03 (99% CI: -0.03, 0.09), and -0.02 (99% CI: -0.27, 0.24) mol%, respectively.

Conclusion

Lowering plasma homocysteine concentrations of older men and women with folate, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6 had no effect on the proportion of (n-3) long-chain PUFA in plasma phosphatidylcholine.

References

Crowe FL,  Skeaff CM,  McMahon JA,  Williams SM and Green TJ.   Lowering plasma homocysteine concentrations of older men and women with folate, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6 does not affect the proportion of (n-3) long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma phosphatidylcholine. Journal of Nutrition 138(3): 551-5. Mar 2008.

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