Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is important for folate and homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism. MTHFR 677C->T and 1298A->C MTHFR are two most common mutations which can affect folate and total homocysteine (tHcy) status. This study was designed to determine the rate of MTHFR 677C->T and 1298A->C mutations, and their influence on serum folate, Hcy and vitamin B12 status and the reference intervals in 402 healthy Turkish adults. The rate of MTHFR 677C->T or 1298A->C mutations was 50.7% or 54.7%, respectively. The MTHFR 677C->T mutation-specific reference intervals for serum folate and tHcy were characterized by marked shifts in their upper limits. In homozygote subjects for MTHFR 677C->T serum folate concentration was lower and serum tHcy concentration was higher than those in the wild genotype; all subjects had lower serum folate and 54% of the subjects had higher tHcy concentrations than the cutoff values of <or=10 nmol/L and >or=12 micromol/L, respectively. Serum vitamin B12 status was similar in all genotypes. Serum tHcy concentrations were inversely correlated with serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations in all genotypes. These data show that the rate of MTHFR 677C->T and 1298A->C mutations is very high in Turks and serum folate and tHcy status are impaired by these mutations.