Vitamin B-12 status is inversely associated with plasma homocysteine in young women with C677T and/or A1298C methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms

Lynn B Bailey, Robert L Duhaney, David R Maneval, Gail P A Kauwell, Eoin P Quinlivan, Steven R Davis, Aisha Cuadras, Alan D Hutson, Jesse F Gregory
Journal of Nutrition 2002, 132 (7): 1872-8
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms may negatively influence one-carbon metabolism and increase health risks in women of reproductive age. The effect of MTHFR single nucleotide polymorphisms at bp 677 and/or 1298 and differences in folate and vitamin B-12 status on plasma homocysteine concentration in women of reproductive age (20-30 y; n = 186) were investigated. From the multivariate regression model, homozygotes (n = 23) for the C677T MTHFR variant had plasma homocysteine concentrations that were higher (P < 0.05) than those observed in the other 5 genotype groups, including those who were heterozygous for both variants (677CT/1298AC; n = 32). Plasma homocysteine was negatively associated with plasma vitamin B-12 concentration (P = 0.015) and serum folate (P = 0.049), with the degree of correlation between plasma vitamin B-12 and homocysteine concentrations dependent on MTHFR genotype. The C677T and A1298C MTHFR polymorphisms were significant predictors (P < 0.05) of plasma homocysteine when regression analysis was used to model plasma homocysteine concentration as a function of genotype, supplement use, serum folate and plasma vitamin B-12 concentration. Plasma homocysteine decreased as vitamin B-12 concentration increased (P = 0.0005) in individuals who were heterozygous for both the C677T and A1298C variants with nonsignificant trends (P = 0.114-0.128) in individuals homozygous for either the C677T or A1298C variants. In contrast, within the group of individuals with the wild-type genotype for both the C677T and A1298C MTHFR variants, homocysteine was not associated with changes in plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations. These data suggest that enhancing vitamin B-12 status may significantly decrease homocysteine in young women with C677T and/or A1298C MTHFR polymorphisms, even when vitamin B-12 concentrations are within the normal range.

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