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Vol. 46, No. 2, 2002
Issue release date: March–April 2002
Section title: Original Paper
Ann Nutr Metab 2002;46:73–79
(DOI:10.1159/000057644)

Effect of Vegetarian Diet on Homocysteine Levels

Bissoli L.a · Di Francesco V.a · Ballarin A.a · Mandragona R.a · Trespidi R.a · Brocco G.b · Caruso B.c · Bosello O.a · Zamboni M.a
aCattedra di Geriatria e bIstituto di Clinica e Microscopia Clinica, Università di Verona, e cLaboratorio Analisi Chimico Cliniche ed Ematologiche, Azienda Ospedaliera di Verona, Italy

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Published online: 5/17/2002
Issue release date: March–April 2002

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0250-6807 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9697 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM

Abstract

Objective: To compare fasting total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) levels in vegans, lacto-ovovegetarians and control subjects, and to evaluate the relationships between tHcy levels and nutritional variables in vegetarians. Methods: The study was conducted on 45 vegetarian subjects: 31 vegans (19 males, 12 females, mean age 45.8 ± 15.8 years); 14 lacto-ovovegetarians (6 males, 8 females, mean age 48.5 ± 14.5 years), and 29 control subjects (19 males, 10 females, mean age 43.4 ± 16.7 years). tHcy was evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Serum vitamin B12 and folate were analyzed by automated chemiluminescence systems. Clinical records, nutritional and anthropometric variables were collected for all vegetarian subjects. Results: tHcy was significantly higher in vegetarian subjects than in controls (23.9 ± 21.3 vs. 11.6 ± 4.9 µmol/l, p < 0.001). The prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia was higher in vegetarians than in controls (53.3 vs. 10.3%, p < 0.001). Serum vitamin B12 levels were lower in vegetarians than in control subjects (171.2 ± 73.6 vs. 265.0 ± 52.2 pmol/l, p < 0.01; normal range 220–740 pmol/l). In vegetarian subjects, significant inverse correlations were found between tHcy and serum vitamin B12 levels (r = –0.776, p < 0.001) and between tHcy and serum folate levels (r = –0.340, p < 0.05). Positive correlations were found between tHcy and mean red cell volume (r = 0.44, p < 0.01) and between tHcy and fat-free mass (r = 0.36, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Vegetarian subjects presented significantly higher tHcy levels, higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia, and lower serum vitamin B12 levels than controls.

© 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Published online: 5/17/2002
Issue release date: March–April 2002

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0250-6807 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9697 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM


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