Genes & Nutrition

, 10:7 | Cite as

Effect of genetic polymorphisms involved in folate metabolism on the concentration of serum folate and plasma total homocysteine (p-tHcy) in healthy subjects after short-term folic acid supplementation: a randomized, double blind, crossover study

  • Rona Cabo
  • Sigrunn Hernes
  • Audun Slettan
  • Margaretha Haugen
  • Shu Ye
  • Rune Blomhoff
  • M. Azam Mansoor
Research Paper


Data on the effect of combined genetic polymorphisms, involved in folate metabolism, on the concentration of serum folate after folic acid supplementation are scarce. Therefore, we investigated the impact of seven gene polymorphisms on the concentration of serum folate and p-tHcy in healthy subjects after short-term folic acid supplementation. In a randomized, double blind, crossover study, apparently healthy subjects were given either 0.8 mg folic acid per day (n = 46) or placebo (n = 45) for 14 days. The washout period was 14 days. Fasting blood samples were collected on day 1, 15, 30 and 45. Data on subjects on folic acid supplementation (n = 91) and on placebo (n = 45) were used for the statistical analysis. The concentration of serum folate increased higher in subjects with higher age (53.5 ± 7.0 years) than in subjects with lower age (24.3 ± 3.2 years) after folic acid supplementation (p = 0.006). The baseline concentration of serum folate in subjects with polymorphism combination, reduced folate carrier protein, RFC1-80 GA and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, MTHFR677 CT+TT, was lower than RFC1-80 AA and MTHFR677 CT+TT (p = 0.002). After folic acid supplementation, a higher increase in the concentration of serum folate was detected in subjects with polymorphism combination RFC1-80 GA and MTHFR677 CC than RFC1-80 GG and MTHFR CT+TT combination (p < 0.0001). The baseline concentration of plasma total homocysteine (p-tHcy) was altered by combined polymorphisms in genes associated with folate metabolism. After folic acid supplementation, in subjects with combined polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase, MTHFD1-1958 and MTHFR-677 genes, the concentration of p-tHcy was changed (p = 0.002). The combination of RFC1-80 and MTHFR-677 polymorphisms had a profound affect on the concentration of serum folate in healthy subjects before and after folic acid supplementation.


Short-term folic acid supplementation Genetic polymorphisms Serum folate and p-tHcy concentrations 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rona Cabo
    • 1
  • Sigrunn Hernes
    • 2
  • Audun Slettan
    • 1
  • Margaretha Haugen
    • 3
  • Shu Ye
    • 4
  • Rune Blomhoff
    • 5
    • 6
  • M. Azam Mansoor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural SciencesUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway
  2. 2.Department of NutritionUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway
  3. 3.Division of Environmental MedicineNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  4. 4.William Harvey Research InstituteQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Department of NutritionUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  6. 6.Division of Cancer Medicine, Surgery and TransplantationOslo University HospitalOsloNorway

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