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The impact of nutrition information on public health is partly determined by the population's level of nutrition literacy (NL), which involves functional NL (such as knowledge of dietary guidelines) and critical NL (such as the ability to distinguish between evidence-based nutrition information and alternative facts). The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe aspects of functional and critical NL and predictors of NL scores among university students and employees. We recruited at different university campuses, 414 students and 112 employees, of which 80 % were females and 69 % were in the ages of 18–30 years. In total, 82 % reported knowledge about where to find information on nutrition issues, and 70 % were familiar with Norwegian dietary guidelines. Being female, having higher age, being highly physically active and studying or working within health sciences were significant predictors of higher levels of functional nutrition knowledge. Significantly more women than men found it difficult to judge if media information on nutritional issues could be trusted (69 v. 54 %) and found it hard to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific information about diet (60 v. 42 %). Our findings indicate that for a sample of university students and employees, affiliation with health sciences, being female, having a higher age and being physically active were associated with higher functional NL. Women did, however, seem to have lower levels of some aspects of critical NL, e.g. how to critically judge nutrition information. A more thorough assessment of NL in university students and employees should therefore be conducted.
Replacing intake of SFA with PUFA reduces serum cholesterol levels and CVD risk. The effect on glycaemic regulation is, however, less clear. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the short-term effect of replacing dietary SFA with PUFA on glycaemic regulation. Seventeen healthy, normal-weight participants completed a 25-d double-blind, randomised and controlled two-period crossover study. Participants were allocated to either interventions with PUFA products or SFA products (control) in a random order for three consecutive days, separated by a 1·5-week washout period between the intervention periods. Glucose, insulin and TAG were measured before and after an oral glucose tolerance test. In addition, fasting total cholesterol, NEFA and plasma total fatty acid profile were measured before and after the 3-d interventions. Fasting and postprandial glucose, insulin, and TAG levels and fasting levels of NEFA and plasma fatty acid profile did not differ between the groups. However, replacing dietary SFA with PUFA significantly reduced total cholesterol levels by 8 % after 3 d (P = 0·002). Replacing dietary SFA with PUFA for only 3 d has beneficial cardio-metabolic effects by reducing cholesterol levels in healthy individuals.
The long-term cholesterol-lowering effect of replacing intake of SFA with PUFA is well established, but has not been fully explained mechanistically. We examined the postprandial response of meals with different fat quality on expression of lipid genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in subjects with and without familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Thirteen subjects with FH (who had discontinued lipid-lowering treatment ≥4 weeks prior to both test days) and fourteen normolipidaemic controls were included in a randomised controlled double-blind crossover study with two meals, each with 60 g of fat either mainly SFA (about 40% energy) or n-6 PUFA (about 40% energy). PBMC were isolated in fasting, and 4 and 6 h postprandial blood samples. Expression of thirty-three lipid genes was analysed by reverse transcription quantitative PCR. A linear mixed model was used to assess postprandial effects between meals and groups. There was a significant interaction between meal and group for MSR1 (P = 0·03), where intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced a larger reduction in gene expression in controls only (P = 0·01). Intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced larger reductions in gene expression levels of LDLR and FADS1/2, smaller increases of INSIG1 and FASN, and larger increases of ABCA1 and ABCG1 (P = 0·01 for all, no group interaction). Intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced changes in gene expression of cholesterol influx and efflux mediators in PBMC including lower LDLR and higher ABCA1/G1, potentially explaining the long-term cholesterol-raising effect of a high SFA intake.
Elevated lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is associated with CVD and is mainly genetically determined. Studies suggest a role of dietary fatty acids (FA) in the regulation of Lp(a); however, no studies have investigated the association between plasma Lp(a) concentration and n-6 FA. We aimed to investigate whether plasma Lp(a) concentration was associated with dietary n-6 FA intake and plasma levels of arachidonic acid (AA) in subjects with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). We included FH subjects with (n 68) and without (n 77) elevated Lp(a) defined as ≥75 nmol/l and healthy subjects (n 14). Total FA profile was analysed by GC–flame ionisation detector analysis, and the daily intake of macronutrients (including the sum of n-6 FA: 18 : 2n-6, 20 : 2n-6, 20 : 3n-6 and 20 : 4n-6) were computed from completed FFQ. FH subjects with elevated Lp(a) had higher plasma levels of AA compared with FH subjects without elevated Lp(a) (P = 0·03). Furthermore, both FH subjects with and without elevated Lp(a) had higher plasma levels of AA compared with controls (P < 0·001). The multivariable analyses showed associations between dietary n-6 FA intake and plasma levels of AA (P = 0·02) and between plasma levels of Lp(a) and AA (P = 0·006). Our data suggest a novel link between plasma Lp(a) concentration, dietary n-6 FA and plasma AA concentration, which may explain the small diet-induced increase in Lp(a) levels associated with lifestyle changes. Although the increase may not be clinically relevant, this association may be mechanistically interesting in understanding more of the role and regulation of Lp(a).
Men have earlier first-time event of CHD and higher postprandial TAG response compared with women. The aim of this exploratory sub-study was to investigate if intake of meals with the same amount of fat from different dairy products affects postprandial lipoprotein subclasses differently in healthy women and men. A total of thirty-three women and fourteen men were recruited to a randomised controlled cross-over study with four dairy meals consisting of butter, cheese, whipped cream or sour cream, corresponding to 45 g of fat (approximately 60 energy percent). Blood samples were taken at 0, 2, 4 and 6 h postprandially. Lipoprotein subclasses were measured using NMR and analysed using a linear mixed model. Sex had a significant impact on the response in M-VLDL (P=0·04), S-LDL (P=0·05), XL-HDL (P=0·009) and L-HDL (P=0·001) particle concentration (P), with women having an overall smaller increase in M-VLDL-P, a larger decrease in S-LDL-P and a larger increase in XL- and L-HDL-P compared with men, independent of meal. Men showed a decrease in XS-VLDL-P compared with women after intake of sour cream (P<0·01). In men only, XS-VLDL-P decreased after intake of sour cream compared with all other meals (v. butter: P=0·001; v. cheese: P=0·04;
v. whipped cream: P=0·006). Meals with the same amount of fat from different dairy products induce different postprandial effects on lipoprotein subclass concentrations in men and women.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle mass maintenance. Little is known about the plasma concentrations of BCAA and the protein intake in relation to sarcopenia. We aimed to compare the non-fasting plasma concentrations of the BCAA and the dietary protein intake between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic older adults. Norwegian older home-dwelling adults (≥70 years) were invited to a cross-sectional study with no other exclusion criteria than age. Sarcopenic subjects were defined by the diagnostic criteria by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Non-fasting plasma concentrations of eight amino acids were quantified using NMR spectroscopy. Protein intake was assessed using 2×24-h dietary recalls. In this study, ninety out of 417 subjects (22 %) were sarcopenic, and more women (32 %) than men (11 %) were sarcopenic (P<0·0001). Sex-adjusted non-fasting plasma concentrations of leucine and isoleucine, and the absolute intake of protein (g/d), were significantly lower among the sarcopenic subjects, when compared with non-sarcopenic subjects (P=0·003, P=0·026 and P=0·003, respectively). A similar protein intake was observed in the two groups when adjusted for body weight (BW) and sex (1·1 g protein/kg BW per d; P=0·50). We show that sarcopenia is associated with reduced non-fasting plasma concentration of the BCAA leucine and isoleucine, and lower absolute intake of protein. More studies are needed to clarify the clinical relevance of these findings, related to maintenance of muscle mass and prevention of sarcopenia.
Postprandial hypertriacylglycerolaemia is associated with an increased risk of developing CVD. How fat quality influences postprandial lipid response is scarcely explored in subjects with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). The aim of this study was to investigate the postprandial response of TAG and lipid sub-classes after consumption of high-fat meals with different fat quality in subjects with FH compared with normolipidaemic controls. A randomised controlled double-blind cross-over study with two meals and two groups was performed. A total of thirteen hypercholesterolaemic subjects with FH who discontinued lipid-lowering treatment 4 weeks before and during the study, and fourteen normolipidaemic controls, were included. Subjects were aged 18–30 years and had a BMI of 18·5–30·0 kg/m2. Each meal consisted of a muffin containing 60 g (70 E%) of fat, either mainly SFA (40 E%) or PUFA (40 E%), eaten in a random order with a wash-out period of 3–5 weeks between the meals. Blood samples were collected at baseline (fasting) and 2, 4 and 6 h after intake of the meals. In both FH and control subjects, the level of TAG and the largest VLDL sub-classes peaked at 2 h after intake of PUFA and at 4 h after intake of SFA. No significant differences were found in TAG levels between meals or between groups (0·25≤P≤0·72). The distinct TAG peaks may reflect differences in the postprandial lipid metabolism after intake of fatty acids with different chain lengths and degrees of saturation. The clinical impact of these findings remains to be determined.
Marine n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids alter gene expression by regulating the activity of transcription factors. Krill oil is a source of marine n-3 fatty acids that has been shown to modulate gene expression in animal studies; however, the effect in humans is not known. Hence, we aimed to compare the effect of intake of krill oil, lean and fatty fish with a similar content of n-3 fatty acids, and high-oleic sunflower oil (HOSO) with added astaxanthin on the expression of genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism and inflammation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) as well as circulating inflammatory markers. In an 8-week trial, healthy men and women aged 18–70 years with fasting TAG of 1·3–4·0 mmol/l were randomised to receive krill oil capsules (n 12), HOSO capsules (n 12) or lean and fatty fish (n 12). The weekly intakes of marine n-3 fatty acids from the interventions were 4654, 0 and 4103 mg, respectively. The mRNA expression of four genes, PPAR γ coactivator 1A (PPARGC1A), steaoryl-CoA desaturase (SCD), ATP binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) and cluster of differentiation 40 (CD40), were differently altered by the interventions. Furthermore, within-group analyses revealed that krill oil down-regulated the mRNA expression of thirteen genes, including genes involved in glucose and cholesterol metabolism and β-oxidation. Fish altered the mRNA expression of four genes and HOSO down-regulated sixteen genes, including several inflammation-related genes. There were no differences between the groups in circulating inflammatory markers after the intervention. In conclusion, the intake of krill oil and HOSO with added astaxanthin alter the PBMC mRNA expression of more genes than the intake of fish.
Fish consumption and supplementation with n-3 fatty acids reduce CVD risk. Krill oil is an alternative source of marine n-3 fatty acids and few studies have investigated its health effects. Thus, we compared krill oil supplementation with the intake of fish with similar amounts of n-3 fatty acids on different cardiovascular risk markers. In an 8-week randomised parallel study, thirty-six healthy subjects aged 18–70 years with fasting serum TAG between 1·3 and 4·0 mmol/l were randomised to receive either fish, krill oil or control oil. In the fish group, subjects consumed lean and fatty fish, according to dietary guidelines. The krill and control group received eight capsules per d containing 4 g oil per d. The weekly intake of marine n-3 fatty acids from fish given in the fish group and from krill oil in the krill group were 4103 and 4654 mg, respectively. Fasting serum TAG did not change between the groups. The level of total lipids (P = 0·007), phospholipids (P = 0·015), cholesterol (P = 0·009), cholesteryl esters (P = 0·022) and non-esterified cholesterol (P = 0·002) in the smallest VLDL subclass increased significantly in response to krill oil supplementation. Blood glucose decreased significantly (P = 0·024) in the krill group and vitamin D increased significantly in the fish group (P = 0·024). Furthermore, plasma levels of marine n-3 fatty acids increased significantly in the fish and krill groups compared with the control (all P ≤ 0·0003). In conclusion, supplementation with krill oil and intake of fish result in health-beneficial effects. Although only krill oil reduced fasting glucose, fish provide health-beneficial nutrients, including vitamin D.
Fish oil (FO) supplementation reduces the risk of CVD. However, it is not known if FO of different qualities have different effects on lipoprotein subclasses in humans. We aimed at investigating the effects of oxidised FO and high-quality FO supplementation on lipoprotein subclasses and their lipid concentrations in healthy humans. In all, fifty-four subjects completed a double-blind randomised controlled intervention study. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive high-quality FO (n 17), oxidised FO (n 18) or high-oleic sunflower oil capsules (HOSO, n 19) for 7 weeks. The concentration of marine n-3 fatty acids was equal in high-quality FO and oxidised FO (1·6 g EPA+DHA/d). The peroxide value (PV) and anisidine value (AV) were 4 mEq/kg and 3 in high-quality FO and HOSO, whereas the PV and AV in the oxidised FO were 18 mEq/kg and 9. Blood samples were collected at baseline and end of study. NMR spectroscopy was applied for the analysis of lipoprotein subclasses and their lipid concentrations. High-quality FO reduced the concentration of intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) particles and large, medium and small LDL particles, as well as the concentrations of total lipids, phospholipids, total cholesterol, cholesteryl esters and free cholesterol in IDL and LDL subclasses compared with oxidised FO and HOSO. Hence, high-quality FO and oxidised FO differently affect lipid composition in lipoprotein subclasses, with a more favourable effect mediated by high-quality FO. In future trials, reporting the oxidation levels of FO would be useful.
Regular consumption of long-chain n-3 fatty acids (LC n-3 FA) reduces postprandial triacylglycerolaemia. Functional foods and supplements are alternative sources of LC n-3 FA; however, emulsification technologies, food matrices and altered lipid oxidation levels affect their bioavailability. Moreover, which functional foods are optimal LC n-3 FA carriers is unknown. The aim of the study was to determine the bioavailability of LC n-3 FA and the postprandial TAG response after the intake of oxidised or non-oxidised cod liver oil and after the intake of emulsified or non-emulsified LC n-3 FA using novel functional food items as LC n-3 FA carriers in a randomised cross-over acute study. A total of twenty-four healthy subjects completed the study in which subjects consumed one of four different test meals containing 1·5 g LC n-3 FA, or a control meal with no LC n-3 FA. Postprandial TAG-rich lipoproteins were isolated and their fatty acid composition was measured. The LC n-3 FA from emulsified foods were more rapidly incorporated into TAG-rich lipoproteins compared with non-emulsified foods. The incorporation of LC n-3 FA was similar for oils emulsified in yogurt or juice and was unaffected by the oxidative status of the oil. Postprandial TAG levels did not differ among the various test meals. In conclusion, emulsification increases the bioavailability of LC n-3 FA through a more rapid incorporation into TAG-rich lipoproteins, and juice and yogurt are equally suited as LC n-3 FA carriers. The acute intake of oxidised cod liver oil does not influence the incorporation of LC n-3 FA into TAG-rich lipoproteins.
The healthy Nordic diet has been previously shown to have health beneficial effects among subjects at risk of CVD. However, the extent of food changes needed to achieve these effects is less explored. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exchanging a few commercially available, regularly consumed key food items (e.g. spread on bread, fat for cooking, cheese, bread and cereals) with improved fat quality on total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and inflammatory markers in a double-blind randomised, controlled trial. In total, 115 moderately hypercholesterolaemic, non-statin-treated adults (25–70 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental diet group (Ex-diet group) or control diet group (C-diet group) for 8 weeks with commercially available food items with different fatty acid composition (replacing SFA with mostly n-6 PUFA). In the Ex-diet group, serum total cholesterol (P<0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (P<0·001) were reduced after 8 weeks, compared with the C-diet group. The difference in change between the two groups at the end of the study was −9 and −11 % in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, respectively. No difference in change in plasma levels of inflammatory markers (high-sensitive C-reactive protein, IL-6, soluble TNF receptor 1 and interferon-γ) was observed between the groups. In conclusion, exchanging a few regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol, with no negative effect on levels of inflammatory markers. This shows that an exchange of a few commercially available food items was easy and manageable and led to clinically relevant cholesterol reduction, potentially affecting future CVD risk.
Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) leads to elevated plasma levels of LDL-cholesterol and increased risk of premature atherosclerosis. Dietary treatment is recommended to all patients with FH in combination with lipid-lowering drug therapy. Little is known about how children with FH and their parents respond to dietary advice. The aim of the present study was to characterise the dietary habits in children with FH. A total of 112 children and young adults with FH and a non-FH group of children (n 36) were included. The children with FH had previously received dietary counselling. The FH subjects were grouped as: 12–14 years (FH (12–14)) and 18–28 years (FH (18–28)). Dietary data were collected by SmartDiet, a short self-instructing questionnaire on diet and lifestyle where the total score forms the basis for an overall assessment of the diet. Clinical and biochemical data were retrieved from medical records. The SmartDiet scores were significantly improved in the FH (12–14) subjects compared with the non-FH subjects (SmartDiet score of 31 v. 28, respectively). More FH (12–14) subjects compared with non-FH children consumed low-fat milk (64 v. 18 %, respectively), low-fat cheese (29 v. 3%, respectively), used margarine with highly unsaturated fat (74 v. 14 %, respectively). In all, 68 % of the FH (12–14) subjects and 55 % of the non-FH children had fish for dinner twice or more per week. The FH (18–28) subjects showed the same pattern in dietary choices as the FH (12–14) children. In contrast to the choices of low-fat dietary items, 50 % of the FH (12–14) subjects consumed sweet spreads or sweet drinks twice or more per week compared with only 21 % in the non-FH group. In conclusion, ordinary out-patient dietary counselling of children with FH seems to have a long-lasting effect, as the diet of children and young adults with FH consisted of more products that are favourable with regard to the fatty acid composition of the diet.
Dietary fat is normally in TAG form, but diacylglycerol (DAG) is a natural component of edible oils. Studies have shown that consumption of DAG results in metabolic characteristics that are distinct from those of TAG, which may be beneficial in preventing and managing obesity. The objective of the present study was to investigate if food items in which part of the TAG oil is replaced with DAG oil combined with high α-linolenic acid (ALA) content would influence metabolic markers. A 12-week double-blinded randomised controlled parallel-design study was conducted. The participants (n 23) were healthy, overweight men and women, aged 37–67 years, BMI 27–35 kg/m2, with waist circumference >94 cm (men) and >88 cm (women). The two groups received 20 g margarine, 11 g mayonnaise and 12 g oil per d, containing either high ALA and sn-1,3-DAG or high ALA and TAG. Substitution of TAG oil with DAG oil in food items for 12 weeks led to an improvement of the predicted 10 years cardiovascular risk score in overweight subjects by non-significantly improving markers of health such as total body fat percentage, trunk fat mass, alanine aminotransferase, systolic blood pressure, γ-glutamyl transferase, alkaline phosphatase and total fat-free mass. This may suggest that replacing TAG oil with DAG oil in healthy, overweight individuals may have beneficial metabolic effects.
We compared changes in the dietary patterns of morbidly obese patients undergoing either laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery or a comprehensive lifestyle intervention programme. The present 1-year non-randomised controlled trial included fifty-four patients in the lifestyle group and seventy-two in the surgery group. Dietary intake was assessed by a validated FFQ. ANCOVA was used to adjust for between-group differences in sex, age, baseline BMI and baseline values of the dependent variables. Intakes of food groups and nutrients did not differ significantly between the intervention groups at baseline. At 1-year follow-up, the lifestyle group had a significantly higher daily intake of fruits and vegetables (561 (sd 198) v. 441 (sd 213) g, P= 0·002), whole grains (63 (sd 24) v. 49 (sd 16) g, P< 0·001) and fibre (28 (sd 6) v. 22 (sd 6) g, P< 0·001) than the surgery group and a lower percentage of total energy intake of saturated fat (12 (sd 3) v. 14 (sd 3) %, P< 0·001). The intake of red meat declined significantly within both groups, vegetables and fish intake were reduced significantly in the surgery group and added sugar was reduced significantly in the lifestyle group. The lifestyle patients improved their dietary patterns significantly (compared with the surgery group), increasing their intake of vegetables, whole grains and fibre and reducing their percentage intake of saturated fat (ANCOVA, all P< 0·001). In conclusion, lifestyle intervention was associated with more favourable dietary 1-year changes than gastric bypass surgery in morbidly obese patients, as measured by intake of vegetables, whole grains, fibre and saturated fat.
Intake of fish oil reduces the risk of CHD and CHD deaths. Marine n-3 fatty acids (FA) are susceptible to oxidation, but to our knowledge, the health effects of intake of oxidised fish oil have not previously been investigated in human subjects. The aim of the present study was to investigate markers of oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation and inflammation, and the level of plasma n-3 FA after intake of oxidised fish oil. In a double-blinded randomised controlled study, healthy subjects (aged 18–50 years, n 54) were assigned into one of three groups receiving capsules containing either 8 g/d of fish oil (1·6 g/d EPA+DHA; n 17), 8 g/d of oxidised fish oil (1·6 g/d EPA+DHA; n 18) or 8 g/d of high-oleic sunflower oil (n 19). Fasting blood and morning spot urine samples were collected at weeks 0, 3 and 7. No significant changes between the different groups were observed with regard to urinary 8-iso-PGF2α; plasma levels of 4-hydroxy-2-hexenal, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal and α-tocopherol; serum high sensitive C-reactive protein; or activity of antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes. A significant increase in plasma level of EPA+DHA was observed in both fish oil groups, but no significant difference was observed between the fish oil groups. No changes in a variety of in vivo markers of oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation or inflammation were observed after daily intake of oxidised fish oil for 3 or 7 weeks, indicating that intake of oxidised fish oil may not have unfavourable short-term effects in healthy human subjects.
The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a single high-fat meal with different fat quality on circulating inflammatory markers and gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to elucidate the role of fat quality on postprandial inflammation. A postprandial study with fourteen healthy females consuming three test meals with different fat quality was performed. Test days were separated by 2 weeks. Fasting and postprandial blood samples at 3 and 6 h after intake were analysed. The test meal consisted of three cakes enriched with coconut fat (43 % energy as saturated fat and 1 % energy as α-linolenic acid (ALA)), linseed oil (14 % energy as ALA and 30 % energy as saturated fat) and cod liver oil (5 % energy as EPA and DHA and 5 % energy as ALA in addition to 31 % energy as saturated fat). In addition, ex vivo PBMC experiments were performed in eight healthy subjects investigating the effects of EPA and ALA on release and gene expression of inflammatory markers. The IL-8 mRNA level was significantly increased after intake of the cod liver oil cake at 6 h compared with fasting level, which was significantly different from the effect observed after the intake of linseed cake. In contrast, no effect was seen on circulating level of IL-8. In addition, ALA and EPA were shown to elicit different effects on the release and mRNA expression levels of inflammatory markers in PBMC cultured ex vivo, with EPA having the most prominent pro-inflammatory potential.
Homocysteine has been related to increased risk of CVD. Matrix degradation and inflammation may be involved in this link between hyperhomocysteinaemia and CVD. Recent studies suggest that cystatin C can modulate matrix degradation and inflammation. The present study measured cystatin C at protein (plasma) and mRNA levels (peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)) in hyperhomocysteinaemic individuals (n 37, female seven and male thirty, aged 20–70 years) before and after B-vitamin supplementation for 3 months in a randomised, placebo-controlled double-blind trial. In a cross-sectional study, seventeen of the hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects were age- and sex-matched to healthy controls (n 17). Our main findings were: (i) as compared with controls, hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects tended to have higher plasma concentrations of cystatin C and lower mRNA levels of cystatin C in PBMC; (ii) compared with placebo, treatment of hyperhomocysteinaemic individuals with B-vitamins significantly increased plasma levels of cystatin C and mRNA levels of cystatin C in PBMC; (iii) while plasma levels of cystatin C were positively correlated with plasma levels of TNF receptor-1, mRNA levels of cystatin C in PBMC were inversely correlated with this TNF parameter. Taken together, our findings suggest that disturbed cystatin C levels may be a characteristic of hyperhomocysteinaemic individuals, potentially related to low-grade systemic inflammation in hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects, and that B-vitamins may modulate cystatin C levels in these individuals.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of NO synthase, has been suggested to be a novel risk factor for endothelial dysfunction. It has previously been reported that hyperhomocysteinaemia may be associated with impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and reduced plasma level of NO-derived endproducts (NOx). In the present study, plasma levels of arginine and ADMA were measured in twenty-one healthy control subjects, and in twenty-one hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects before and after 6 weeks and 12 months of folic acid supplementation, and compared with previously measured plasma NOx values in the hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects. Compared with control subjects, hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects had higher plasma levels of arginine and ADMA. More importantly, folic acid therapy significantly reduced plasma levels of arginine and ADMA. Furthermore, plasma levels of arginine and ADMA were positively correlated with plasma homocysteine levels and negatively correlated with plasma folate, as well as negatively correlated with plasma NOx. Our results suggest that ADMA may be a mediator of the atherogenic effects of homocysteine.
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