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Effect of Betaine and Folic Acid on Vascular Function in Healthy Humans

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences Identifier:
First received: February 3, 2005
Last updated: August 2, 2005
Last verified: August 2005

February 3, 2005
August 2, 2005
October 2002
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  • Concentrations of plasma homocysteine in fasting state
  • Vascular function, measured as flow mediated vasodilation, in fasting state
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00102843 on Archive Site
  • Lipid concentrations
  • B-vitamins
  • Blood pressure
Same as current
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Effect of Betaine and Folic Acid on Vascular Function in Healthy Humans
Effect of Lowering of Fasting Plasma Homocysteine Concentrations Through Supplementation With Betaine or Folic Acid on Vascular Function in Healthy Volunteers
The purpose of this study is to determine whether lowering of fasting homocysteine concentrations improves vascular function in healthy volunteers, irrespective of the homocysteine-lowering agent.

A high plasma homocysteine is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death. However, it remains uncertain whether homocysteine per se, low status of folate, or other factors related to methionine metabolism are involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown that a high concentration of homocysteine in blood is related to an impaired vascular function in the arteries, an indicator of cardiovascular disease risk. Virtually all intervention trials used folic acid as a homocysteine-lowering agent, which may however affect vascular function through mechanisms not related to homocysteine. We investigated whether lowering of fasting homocysteine concentrations via supplementation with betaine or folic acid improves vascular function in healthy volunteers, in order to distinguish between effects of folic acid and of homocysteine-lowering per se.

Comparison: We compare the effects of supplementation with folic acid to the effects of betaine, and to the effects of a placebo on plasma homocysteine concentrations and vascular function in healthy humans.

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Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Prevention
  • Healthy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
Procedure: supplementation with folic acid and betaine
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
June 2003
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Inclusion Criteria:

  • Apparently healthy.
  • Women postmenopausal: two or more years after last menstruation. If the uterus was surgically removed, the women must be 55 years or older.
  • Normal blood values for: hematology, total homocysteine, blood lipids, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, liver enzymes, creatinine.
  • Absence of protein and glucose in urine sample.
  • Body mass index (BMI) between 18 and 30 kg/m2.
  • Good ultrasound visibility of the brachial artery, judged by the sonographer.
  • Willing not to use supplements containing B-vitamins, antioxidant vitamins (A, beta-carotene, C and E) or n-3 fatty acids/fish oil supplements from screening day (>2 months before start of the study) until end of study.
  • Willing not to be blood or plasmapheresis donor from 4 weeks before the screening day, and 4 weeks before the start of the study until the end of study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any chronic or acute disease (e.g. diabetes, renal disease, inflammation).
  • Current, or history of cardiovascular disease.
  • Hypertension.
  • Medical history or surgical events known to interfere with the study.
  • Fasting plasma total homocysteine > 26 micromol/L.
  • Alcohol consumption: more than 21 consumptions /week for women, and more than 28 consumptions/week for men.
  • Weight loss or gain > 2 kg in the month prior to screening.
  • Any special diet (prescribed, slimming, macrobiotic or total vegetarian). Sole exclusion of meat and fish from an otherwise ‘normal’ western diet is allowed.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Use of supplements containing B-vitamins more than once weekly in the period from 3 months before the screening day.
  • Participation in any other trial up to 3 months before this study.
  • Use of medication known to interfere with the study outcome.
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
50 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
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Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences
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Study Chair: Petra Verhoef, PhD Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences
Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences
August 2005

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP