Folic acid therapy reduces plasma homocysteine levels and improves plasma antioxidant capacity in hemodialysis patients.Nutrition 2007; 23(3):242-7N
We evaluated the effects of folic acid on homocysteine levels and oxidative stress in 46 stable patients on hemodialysis.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial assessed the effects of 6 mo of 10 mg of folic acid (26 patients) or placebo (20 patients) given three times weekly after each dialysis under nurse supervision on homocysteine levels, total plasma antioxidant capacity, and hydroperoxide plasma levels.
Folic acid treatment normalized plasma homocysteine levels in most patients, significantly increased total plasma antioxidant capacity levels, but had no significant effect on hydroperoxide levels. Placebo treatment had no statistically significant effect on the three parameters.
The folic acid therapy protocol effectively lowered plasma homocysteine levels and improved the total plasma antioxidant capacity in hemodialysis patients. Further studies are required to assess the usefulness of folic acid for decreasing cardiovascular mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease.