[The concentrations of homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin B12 in alcohol dependent male patients].Psychiatr Pol. 2004 Sep-Oct; 38(5):947-56.PP
Metabolism of homocysteine (sulphur-containing amino acid) is accomplished in the remethylation cycle where vitamin B12 and folic acid are essential coenzymes. Markedly elevated homocysteine concentrations have been observed in patients with nutritional deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folate. Hyperhomocysteinemia in alcohol abusers may result from malnutrition and disorder of intestine absorption.
The aim of the study was the estimation of homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin B12 concentrations in alcohol dependent male patients.
71 males with a clinical diagnosis of alcohol dependence (ICD-10) have been examined. The investigated parameters have been determined in the blood serum, the homocysteine by means of immunochemical method, vitamin B12 and folic acid by means of immunoenzymatic assay.
Serum homocysteine concentration was significantly higher and serum folic acid concentration was lower in alcohol dependent men than in controls. Mean concentrations of folic acid and vitamin B12 were significantly lower in patients with hyperhomocysteinemia than in men with normal homocysteine concentration. The highest correlation was indeed noticed between folate deficiency and the intensity of hyperhomocysteinemia.
The development of hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with alcohol dependence that is also a probable cause of folate and vitamin B12 deficiency.