The folic acid metabolite L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate effectively reduces total serum homocysteine level in orthotopic liver transplant recipients: a double-blind placebo-controlled study.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;62(6):796-801. Epub 2007 May 23. PMID: 17522618
1st Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany.
OBJECTIVE: Hyperhomocysteinemia is a described risk factor of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was the treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia in liver transplant recipients with L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF; 1 mg) vs folic acid (1 mg) vs placebo in a double-blind placebo-controlled study and to compare the relative responsiveness of these patients to L-5-MTHF and folic acid.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: Patients were recruited from Hepatology-Transplantation-Unit at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt. Sixty patients were included in this study and 12 patients dropped out for different reasons. The patients were treated over 8 weeks with supplemental L-5-MTHF or folic acid or placebo. Serum homocysteine (HCY) was analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) beside routine lab tests.
RESULTS: We observed only a significant decrease of total serum HCY in the L-5-MTHF group during the study period (at week 0: 15+/-7.7 microM; after 8 weeks treatment: 9.41+/-2.6 microM, P<0.001). There was no significant decrease of total serum HCY neither in the folic acid group nor in the placebo group.
CONCLUSION: The effects of L-5-MTHF are significantly more potent than folic acid itself. Therefore, lowering serum HCY in liver transplant recipients is effective with L-5-MTHF.