Prevalence of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677T and 1298C alleles and folate status: A comparative study in Mexican, West African, and European populations

Rosa Maria Guéant-Rodriguez, Jean Louis Guéant, Renée Debard, Sylvie Thirion, Xiao Hong Lu, Jean Pierre Bronowicki, Farès Namour, Nicodème W. Chabi, Ambaliou Sanni, Guido Anello, Paolo Bosco, Corrado Romano, Emile Amouzou, Heidy R. Arrieta, Beatríz E. Sánchez, Antonino Romano, Bernard Herbeth, Jean Claude Guilland, Osvaldo M. Mutchinick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C→T polymorphism is heterogeneously distributed worldwide, with the highest and lowest frequencies of the T allele in Mexico and Africa, respectively, and a south-to-north gradient in Europe. Distribution of MTHFR 1298A→C is less well known. It has been hypothesized that 677T frequency could result in part from gene-nutrient interactions. Objective: The objective was to compare the association of 677T and 1298C alleles with plasma concentrations of homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B-12 in geographical areas with contrasting 677T allele frequencies. Design: Healthy young adults (n = 1277) were recruited in Mexico City, the West African countries of Bénin and Togo, France, and Sicily (Italy). Homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B-12 were measured in plasma, and MTHFR polymorphisms were measured in genomic DNA. Results: Mexico City and Sicily reported the highest and Bénin and Togo reported the lowest plasma concentrations of folate. Mexico City had the highest 677T allele prevalence and the lowest influence of 677TT genotype on homocysteine, whereas the opposite was observed in Africa. The prevalence of the 1298C allele was lowest in the Mexicans and Africans and highest in the French. The percentage of the 677T genotype was significantly associated with the folate concentrations in 677CC carriers in a univariate analysis (R = 0.976; 95% CI: 0.797, 0.996; P <0.0002) and in a multiple regression model that included homocysteine, vitamin B-12, and age (P = 0.0002). Conclusion: Our data agree with the hypothesis of a gene-nutrient interaction between MTHFR 677C→T polymorphism and folate status that may confer a selective advantage of TT-homozygous genotype when dietary intake of folate is adequate, at least in the areas studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-707
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Folate
  • Homocysteine
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase
  • Polymorphism
  • Vitamin B-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677T and 1298C alleles and folate status: A comparative study in Mexican, West African, and European populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this