To test the hypothesis that an acute increase in plasma homocysteine produced by methionine is associated with an acute increase in pulse wave velocity.
A double blind, cross over, placebo controlled design was used and pulse wave velocity, plasma homocysteine, total cholesterol: high density lipoprotein ratio, plasma triglyceride, oxidised low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, apolipoproteins A1 and B, and C reactive protein were measured between 12.5 and 20 hours after methionine loading or placebo.
Between 12.5 and 20 hours after exposure to a methionine loading test, arterial pulse wave velocity showed no significant difference compared with placebo. At 12 hours after exposure to the methionine loading test, in the presence of a controlled diet, triglyceride concentration significantly increased by 32.6% (p<0.02), cholesterol: high density lipoprotein ratio increased significantly by 22.5% (p<0.05) compared with placebo. Simultaneously, systolic blood pressure increased significantly by 4.9% (p<0.02).
In elderly volunteers, acute hyperhomocysteinaemia induced by methionine loading resulted in no overall significant delayed reduction in peripheral arterial distensibility. A significant deterioration in the lipid profile and increased blood pressure was seen during acute hyperhomocysteinaemia.