Research Highlight

Vitamin intervention

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.60 Published online 7 May 2010

A public health intervention with small daily doses of vitamin B12 could be an effective way to tackle hyperhomocysteinemia — a common condition in India that influences fetal growth, risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

During trials, B12 was given to deficient subjects as 2 or 10 μg capsules. The 'plasma total homocysteine' (tHcy) concentration was measured before and after 4 and 12 months of supplementation.

Vitamin B12 significantly reduced the tHcy concentration after an year.

The researchers had tested folic acid supplementation alongside, which showed no additional benefit or unfavorable effects.

The trial can be considered a public health scale 'proof of principle' study, following on from a high-dose, short-term intervention that they had reported in a small group of volunteers earlier, the researchers said.

The authors of this work are from: Diabetes Unit, King Edward Memorial Hospital Research Centre, Pune, Maharashtra, India; University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, UK; Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK & Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway.


  1. Deshmukh, U. S. et al. Effect of physiological doses of oral vitamin B12 on plasma homocysteine: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in India. Eur. J. clin. Nutr. 64, 495-502 (2010) | Article | PubMed |