Altered gender-related homocysteine metabolism and lipid panel in healthy heavy smokers: a possible role for nutraceutical supplementation


  • Luisella Vigna et al.


Cigarette smoking, Homocysteine, Folate, Cobalamin, Gender, Nutritional supplement


In recent years, clinical and epidemiological studies have suggested that increased concentrations of total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) could be an additional independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease [1]. It has been established that a very high tHcy concentration due to inborn metabolic errors causing enzyme alterations in homocysteine metabolism can lead to serious thrombotic events at a young age [2]. Mild to moderate hyperhomocysteinemia is recognized as a potential risk factor for adult cardiovascular disease, and many observational studies, and case and placebo-controlled trials, are seeking to determine whether it is a cause or an effect of the disease [3]. Hyperhomocysteinemia can be caused by genetic and/ or acquired factors due to lifestyle (i.e., nutritional habits), renal insufficiency and age [3]. It is known that low levels or deficiency in our diet of some group B vitamins, in particular cobalamin and/or folate (required cofactors for further homocysteine metabolism through the remethylation pathway), result in moderate elevations in tHcy levels.