It has recently been suggested that homocysteine levels rise following bariatric- surgical induced weight loss; the mechanism by which this occurs is unclear. It is also unknown whether this occurs with dietary change induced weight loss. We followed serum homocysteine levels in 300 consecutive pts with Metabolic Syndrome and/or CAD who enrolled in a lifestye modification program that included a weight loss goal. The first 200 pts (Group A) had no high dose folic acid or B-Vitamin supplementation during initial weight loss but took a regular multivitamin; the subsequent 100 pts (Group B) received 2000 mcg Folic Acid and one B-100 tablet/day (supplying 100 mcg of each B Vitamin). Serum Homocysteine levels were measured at a single lab at baseline and every three months during followup, which now extends to 3 years. Pts ages range from 19 to 87, M/F ratio 3/2, and include all ethnicities, which did not differ between groups. Homocysteine levels rose from 9.7+/-2.1 umol/L to 14.5 +/-2.0 in the 1st 6 months of wt loss (mean 15 lbs) in Group A; in contrast, serum homocysteine levels in Group B remained constant (10.1+/-2 to 10.3+/-2.3) during the same time period despite similar wt loss (mean 17lbs) p<.0001 B vs A and A baseline vs A 6 months. At 6 months, Group A was started on Group B’s high dose regimen: at 9 months, Group A’s levels fell to 11.2+/-2.5, p<0.001 vs 6month group A. We conclude that during weight loss induced by dietary changes, serum homocysteine levels dramatically increase unless patients are given high dose folic acid and B Vitamin supplementation. Unless treated, elevated homocysteine levels induced by “healthly” weight loss, may have serious negative cardiovascular health consequences.
lumia wrote:A brief question. I don't have any MTHFR mutations (i.e. I'm HomRef in the well-known ones). Does that mean I need not use the 5-MTHF form and use plain old folic acid instead?
Folic acid refers to the oxidized, synthetic compound used in dietary supplements and food fortification, whereas folate refers to the various tetrahydrofolate (THF) derivatives naturally found in food. Unlike natural folates (from food sources) that are metabolized to THF in the small intestines, synthetic folic acid must undergo initial reduction and methylation in the liver, where it is converted to THF in the presence of the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). However, because DHFR has low activity in the human liver, insufficient amounts of synthetic folic acid are converted to the THF form, resulting in unnatural and potentially harmful levels of unmetabolized folic acid entering the circulatory system. So, when adequate folate consumption from dietary sources is not an option, it is best to supplement with whole-food folate from food sources to minimize risk of deficiency.
Research is clear that the consumption of the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate (folic acid) used in fortified foods and nutritional supplements is contributing to the worldwide cancer epidemic. Unlike the natural forms of folate, this synthetic form of folic acid must be converted to a natural form in the body. Yet it is simply not possible to convert the huge amount of folic acid we are now being exposed to since the introduction of food fortification in the US in 1998, and from the increased use of nutritional supplements containing folic acid. This lack of conversion results in a build-up of "unmetabolized" synthetic folic acid in the blood. This synthetic unmetabolized folic acid increases cellular proliferation, including that in cancerous tumors.
NatureFolate™ is a blend of natural folates including those found in foods such as spinach and eggs. The folate forms found in NatureFolate™ are 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) and 5-formyl tetrahydrofolate (5-FTHF). These are safe, natural forms which are quickly and easily utilized by the body. NatureFolate™ provides the proven benefits of optimal folate supplementation without the risks associated with unmetabolized, synthetic folic acid.
In this study, men who were taking the highest dose of vitamin B supplements (and who were found to have a two-fold increased risk in lung cancer compared with men not taking supplements) had been taking B6 at 20 mg daily and B12 at 55 µg daily for 10 years.
SusanJ wrote: Are you taking these because of MTHFR or homocysteine or both? Have you done any testing of your B vitamin levels?
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