Higher intake of fish and fat is associated with lower plasma s-adenosylhomocysteine: a cross-sectional study
Journal article, 2017

Several B-vitamins act as co-factors in one-carbon metabolism, a pathway that plays a central role in several chronic diseases. However, there is a lack of knowledge of how diet affects markers in one-carbon metabolism. The aim of this study was to explore dietary patterns and components associated with one-carbon metabolites. We hypothesized that intake of whole-grains and fish would be associated with lower Hcy, and higher SAM:SAH ratio due to their nutrient content. We assessed dietary information using a four-day dietary record in 118 men and women with features of the metabolic syndrome. In addition we assessed whole-blood fatty acid composition and plasma alkylresorcinols. Plasma s-adenosylmethionine (SAM), s-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), homocysteine (Hcy) and vitamin B12 was included as one-carbon metabolism markers. We used principal component analysis (PCA) to explore dietary patterns and multiple linear regression models to examine associations between dietary factors and one-carbon metabolites. PCA separated subjects based on prudent and unhealthy dietary patterns, but the dietary pattern score was not related to the one-carbon metabolites. Whole grain intake was found to be inversely associated to plasma Hcy (?4.7% (?9.3; 0.0), P =.05) and total grain intake tended to be positively associated with SAM and SAH (2.4% (?0.5; 5.5), P =.08; 5.8% (?0.2; 12.1), P =.06, respectively, per SD increase in cereal intake). Fish intake was inversely associated with plasma Hcy and SAH concentrations (?5.4% (?9.7; ?0.8), P =.02 and ?7.0% (?12.1; ?1.5), P =.01, respectively) and positively associated with the SAM:SAH ratio (6.2% (1.6; 11.0), P =.008). In conclusion, intake and fish and whole-grain appear to be associated with a beneficial one-carbon metabolism profile. This indicates that dietary components could play a role in regulation of one-carbon metabolism with a potential impact on disease prevention.

Whole grain


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

Methyl donor metabolism

Dietary patterns


Mads Vendelbo Lind

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Lotte Lauritzen

University of Copenhagen

Oluf Pedersen

University of Copenhagen

Henrik Vestergaard

University of Copenhagen

Steno Diabetes Center

Ken D. Stark

University of Waterloo

Torben Hansen

University of Copenhagen

Alastair Ross

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

M. Kristensen

University of Copenhagen

Nutrition Research

0271-5317 (ISSN) 18790739 (eISSN)

Vol. 46 78-87

Subject Categories

Biological Sciences



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