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Folic acid improves endothelial function in coronary artery disease via mechanisms largely independent of homocysteine lowering

Doshi, Sagar Navin, McDowell, Ian Frederick, Moat, Stuart James, Payne, Nicola, Durrant, Hilary J., Lewis, Malcolm John and Goodfellow, Jonathan 2002. Folic acid improves endothelial function in coronary artery disease via mechanisms largely independent of homocysteine lowering. Circulation 105 (1) , pp. 22-26. 10.1161/hc0102.101388

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Background— Homocysteine is a risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD), although a causal relation remains to be proven. The importance of determining direct causality rests in the fact that plasma homocysteine can be safely and inexpensively reduced by 25% with folic acid. This reduction is maximally achieved by doses of 0.4 mg/d. High-dose folic acid (5 mg/d) improves endothelial function in CAD, although the mechanism is controversial. It has been proposed that improvement occurs through reduction in total (tHcy) or free (non–protein bound) homocysteine (fHcy). We investigated the effects of folic acid on endothelial function before a change in homocysteine in patients with CAD. Methods and Results— A randomized, placebo-controlled study of folic acid (5 mg/d) for 6 weeks was undertaken in 33 patients. Endothelial function, assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), was measured before, at 2 and 4 hours after the first dose of folic acid, and after 6 weeks of treatment. Plasma folate increased markedly by 1 hour (200 compared with 25.8 nmol/L; P<0.001). FMD improved at 2 hours (83 compared with 47 µm; P<0.001) and was largely complete by 4 hours (101 compared with 51 µm; P<0.001). tHcy did not significantly differ acutely (4-hour tHcy, 9.56 compared with 9.79 µmol/L; P=NS). fHcy did not differ at 3 hours but was slightly reduced at 4 hours (1.55 compared with 1.78 µmol/L; P=0.02). FMD improvement did not correlate with reductions in either fHcy or tHcy at any time. Conclusions— These data suggest that folic acid improves endothelial function in CAD acutely by a mechanism largely independent of homocysteine.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Risk factors ; Plasma ; Coronary disease ; Endothelium
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 19/02/2014).
Publisher: American Heart Association
ISSN: 1524-4539
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 07:30

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