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Novel Approaches to Investigate One-Carbon Metabolism and Related B-Vitamins in Blood Pressure

Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, Ulster University, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
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Nutrients 2016, 8(11), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8110720
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B-Vitamins and One-Carbon Metabolism)
Hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of preventable, premature death. A common polymorphism (677C→T) in the gene encoding the folate metabolizing enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is associated with increased blood pressure, and there is accumulating evidence demonstrating that this phenotype can be modulated, specifically in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype, by the B-vitamin riboflavin, an essential co-factor for MTHFR. The underlying mechanism that links this polymorphism, and the related gene-nutrient interaction, with hypertension is currently unknown. Previous research has shown that 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the product of the reaction catalysed by MTHFR, appears to be a positive allosteric modulator of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and may thus increase the production of nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator. Blood pressure follows a circadian pattern, peaking shortly after wakening and falling during the night, a phenomenon known as ‘dipping’. Any deviation from this pattern, which can only be identified using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), has been associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This review will consider the evidence linking this polymorphism and novel gene-nutrient interaction with hypertension and the potential mechanisms that might be involved. The role of ABPM in B-vitamin research and in nutrition research generally will also be reviewed. View Full-Text
Keywords: riboflavin; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); hypertension; blood pressure; ABPM; DNA methylation riboflavin; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); hypertension; blood pressure; ABPM; DNA methylation
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McMahon, A.; McNulty, H.; Hughes, C.F.; Strain, J.J.; Ward, M. Novel Approaches to Investigate One-Carbon Metabolism and Related B-Vitamins in Blood Pressure. Nutrients 2016, 8, 720.

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