Effect of dietary patterns on serum homocysteine: Results of a randomized, controlled feeding study

Lawrence J. Appel, Edgar R. Miller, Sun Ha Jee, Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Pao Hwa Lin, Thomas Erlinger, Marie R. Nadeau, Jacob Selhub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Background - Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Although numerous studies have assessed the impact of vitamin supplements on homocysteine, the effect of dietary patterns on homocysteine has not been well studied. Methods and Results - During a 3-week run-in, 118 participants were fed a control diet, low in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, with a fat content typical of US consumption. During an 8-week intervention phase, participants were then fed 1 of 3 randomly assigned diets: the control diet, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables but otherwise similar to control, or a combination diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and reduced in saturated and total fat. Between the end of run-in and intervention periods, mean change in homocysteine was +0.46 μmol/L in the control diet, +0.21 μmol/L in the fruits and vegetables diet (P=0.47 compared with control), and -0.34 μmol/L in the combination diet (P=0.03 compared with control, P=0.12 compared with the fruits and vegetables diet). In multivariable regression models, change in homocysteine was significantly and inversely associated with change in serum folate (P=0.03) but not with change in serum vitamin B12 (P=0.64) or pyridoxal 5' phosphate, the coenzyme form of vitamin B6 (P=0.83). Conclusions - Modification of dietary patterns can have substantial effects on fasting levels of total serum homocysteine. These results provide additional insights into the mechanisms by which diet might influence the occurrence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-857
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 22 2000


  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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