B Vitamin Supplement with Active Folate Shown to Significantly Lower Homocysteine Levels
High levels of homocysteine are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Supplements containing B vitamins can help improve homocysteine levels.
Many B vitamins contain folic acid, which is synthetic version of the vitamin folate (vitamin B9) which is found in food. However, folic acid has some disadvantages. Most notably, for it to be useful, your body needs to convert folic acid to the active form of folate called 5-methylfolate (5-MTHF). And up to 50% of people can’t make this conversion because they’re not genetically programmed to do so. Others with digestion issues also struggle to efficiently make this conversion.
The challenge with using folate directly in supplements has been keeping it stable so it doesn’t become rancid. A stabilized form of 5-methylfolate or “active folate” , branded as Quatrefolic® has been shown to be up to seven times more efficient than folic acid because no conversion in needed in the body.
To measure the effect of a supplement with Quatrefolic® on homocysteine, a clinical study was conducted.
Participants in the study included 104 people with a mean age of 62.8. All of the participants had stage 1 essential hypertension and hyper-homocysteinemia (average homocysteine level of 22 mmol/L) but no history of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease.
Daily for two months, participants were asked to take either (i) a high dose (5mg) folic acid supplement or (ii) a B vitamin supplement with Quatrefolic ® - which contained 400mcg ofQuatrefolic ®, 3mg of vitamin B6, 5mcg of vitamin B12, 2.4mg of vitamin B2, 12.5 mg zinc and 250 mg betaine.
A the end of two months, those taking the supplement with Quatrefolic ® experienced a 53% improvement in homocysteine levels – going from 21.6 mmol/L to 10.0 mmol/L. In addition, 55.8% of the participants in this group reached ideal homocysteine levels of less than 10.0 mmol/L.
The high dose folic acid group also improved, but not nearly as much – with a 37% improvement from 22.6 mmol/L to 14.3 mmol/L.
No side effects were noted in either group.
Researchers from S. Maria della Misericordia Hospital, University of Bologna, San Donato Hospital, University of Padova, and FADOI Foundation — all in Italy — conducted the study. It was published in the July - September 2016 issue of the .
Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake by eating more folate-rich foods, such as liver, eggs, beans, sunflower seeds, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupes, and other melons.