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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2008 September;61(3):347-56

language: English, Italian

Consumption of protein supplements and homocysteine concentrations in persons practicing physical activity in gyms

Sales Gomes G. 1, Ribeiro Garlipp M. 2, Carvalho Degiovanni G. 2, Vannucchi H. 2, Garcia Chiarello P. 2, Afonso Jordao A. 2

1 Biomedical Investigation, FMRP/USP, Ribeirão Preto, San Paolo, Brazil
2 Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, FMRP/USP, Ribeirão Preto, San Paolo, Brazil


Aim. Increased plasma homocysteine concentrations and low folate and vitamin B12 concentrations are associated with the incidence of vascular disease. The aim of the present study was to determine homocysteine levels in persons practicing physical activity and taking in protein supplements in the city of Ribeirão Preto, in Brazil.
Methods. Thirty healthy males aged 20 to 40 years, practicing physical activity in Ribeirão Preto gyms participated in the study. The volunteers were submitted to biochemical exams (homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12, glycemia, creatinine, and serum lipids), and to an assessment of food intake (macronutrients, folate and vitamin B12).
Results. Plasma homocysteine concentration and the remaining biochemical exams were adequate for most individuals, with no difference between those who used supplements and the control group. There was a high dietary intake of protein (>1.2 g/kg/d) and a low dietary intake of folate and vitamin B12. The supplement represented an increase of about 0.5 g/kg weight in total protein intake.
Conclusion. The use of protein or protein-calorie supplements does not modify the levels of homocysteine, folate or vitamin B12. Regarding the diet, the observed high intake of protein and low intake of folate and vitamin B12 does not affect the levels of homocysteine. No correlation was observed between the variables studied and the plasma concentration of homocysteine.

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