Role of nutritional supplementation in reducing the levels of homocysteine.J Assoc Physicians India 2002; 50 Suppl:36-42JA
Elevated plasma homocysteine level is a risk factor for atherosclerotic disease. Plasma homocysteine levels are influenced by genetic, physiological and lifestyle factors. Among the lifestyle factors, diet plays a significant role. Dietary intakes of folate, vitamins B12, B6 and B2 have been reported to be inversely related to plasma homocysteine concentration. Prevalence of subclinical deficiencies of these vitamins is high in Indian population. Folate status is the major determinant of plasma homocysteine level and there is a strong inverse correlationship between plasma homocysteine level and serum or erythrocyte folate levels. A combination therapy with B vitamins--folate, vitamins B12 and B6 is an effective means to reduce elevated homocysteine levels in general people and in patients with myocardial infarction. To maintain low plasma homocysteine concentration, people should be advised to increase their consumption of pulses, eggs, green leafy vegetables and fruits which are rich in B vitamins.