Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is nutrigenomics ready for prime time???

In May's edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics there is an article positing researching whether polymorphisms in MTHFR affect homocysteine/folate/one carbon metabolism. If so, does vitamin status play a role. B vitamins are essential for the remethylation and transsulfuration of homocysteine, which is an important intermediate in one-carbon metabolism.
What they found is that persons with a polymorphism in the MTHFR (I know what you are thinking....sounds like) namely the change at base 677 from a C to a T, had difficulties with this metabolism when low on B vitamins.
So is Nutrigenomics here? You know, the right vitamin for the right person at the right time...
Not so fast.

  1. Homocysteine is only poorly linked to heart disease in asymptomatic patients
  2. There is some literature which states that B vitamin supplementation in patients with prior heart attack can cause WORSE outcomes.
  3. This is a replicated study, but not on a heterogeneous population...........

All things considered I would do 3 things.

  1. Continue with my multivitamin
  2. Only supplement with B vitamins if I have NOT had a heart attack
  3. Go over the results of any Nutrigenomic test I took with a geneticist

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