The effects of vitamins B12, B6, and folate on blood homocysteine levels.

J. B. Mason, J. W. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The interaction between plasma homocysteine levels and vitamins B6, B12, and folate is an exciting field and one that has gathered great momentum over the past few years, with the recognition that homocysteine probably plays an important role in occlusive vascular disease. Our understanding in this field is greatly advanced compared to just a few years ago. There are a number of important issues, however, that will need to be addressed in the future if we are to develop a sufficient knowledge base to effectively minimize the risk of occlusive vascular disease ascribable to hyperhomocysteinemia. These include (1) definitive evidence that homocysteine is the actual agent that mediates accelerated occlusive vascular disease and the mechanism by which this occurs; (2) an understanding of what constitutes a pathologic elevation in homocysteine (is there a threshold concentration in the plasma below which no vascular injury occurs? is the peak concentration achieved the critical determinant of injury, or is the area under the curve, or some other feature, more important?); (3) understanding what synergies might exist by adding B6 or B12 to a regimen of folate supplementation (what doses are most appropriate? will toxologic issues limit the utility of supplementation?); and (4) determining the circumstances where reduction of plasma homocysteine will retard or reverse the process of occlusive vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - Sep 30 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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