Folic acid supplementation is the mainstay treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy). However, no recommendations are currently available in regard to the optimal replacement therapy. Therefore, this prospective study hypothesized that a cyclic schedule (1 month of therapy followed by 2 months of withdrawal) of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) would reduce plasma levels of fasting total homocysteine (tHcy) in patients with mild/moderate HHcy. Patients with a new diagnosis of mild/moderate HHcy were evaluated for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotype and the presence of major features of metabolic syndrome. All enrolled subjects received a cyclic 5-MTHF oral supplementation and were reevaluated after each treatment cycle for a total of 2 years. In the 246 enrolled subjects, a significant reduction of tHcy levels occurred after the first cycle of treatment (from 31.6 ± 13.6 to 14.4 ± 5.77 μmol/L, P <.001) and during the whole 2-year follow-up (from 31.6 ± 13.6 to 12.18 ± 3.03 μmol/L, P <.001). The values of tHcy returned to reference range in 117 subjects (51.3%) after the first cycle and in 198 (86.8%) during the follow-up. The risk of failure in tHcy level normalization was increased in patients with metabolic syndrome (hazard ratio [HR], 3.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46-8.36), higher baseline tHcy levels (HR, 1.045; 95% CI, 1.018-1.073), or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase homozygous mutation (HR, 6.59; 95% CI, 2.64-16.4). This study clearly shows that a cyclic schedule (1 month of therapy followed by 2 months of withdrawal) of 5-MTHF supplementation is able to significantly reduce tHcy levels in patients with mild/moderate HHcy.
- Cyclic folate supplementation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics