Evidence of a Role for One-Carbon Metabolism in Blood Pressure: Can B Vitamin Intervention Address the Genetic Risk of Hypertension Owing to a Common Folate Polymorphism?

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Abstract

Hypertension in adulthood is recognized as the leading risk factor contributing to mortality worldwide, primarily from cardiovascular disease, whereas hypertension in pregnancy leads to serious adverse fetal and maternal outcomes. This article explores the under-recognized role of one-carbon metabolism in blood pressure (BP) and the potential for folate-related B vitamins to protect against hypertension. Genome-wide association studies and clinical studies provide evidence linking the 677C→T polymorphism in the gene encoding methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) with BP and increased risk of hypertension and hypertension in pregnancy. A novel role for riboflavin (the MTHFR cofactor) has recently emerged, however, with evidence from randomized trials that supplemental riboflavin can lower BP specifically in adults with the variant MTHFR 677TT genotype. Further studies are required to elucidate the biological mechanisms linking one-carbon metabolism with BP and explore the effect of riboflavin in modulating the genetic risk of hypertension in early and later life.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbernzz102
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent developments in nutrition
Volume4
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sept 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research described in this review was supported in part by governmental funding from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Health Research Board (under the Food Institutional Research Measure initiative) and from the Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning (under its Strengthening the All-Island Research Base initiative); and by DSM Nutritional Products.

Manuscript received May 7, 2019. Initial review completed July 23, 2019. Revision accepted August 30, 2019. Published online September 16, 2019.

Copyright © American Society for Nutrition 2019. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Folate
  • Gene–nutrient interaction
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertension in pregnancy
  • MTHFR
  • One-carbon metabolism
  • Personalized nutrition
  • Riboflavin
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism

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