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Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)might have a clinically important impacton lowering hypertension

MARY WARD*, HELENE McNULTY
*Corresponding author
University of Ulster
Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) School of Biomedical Sciences, Coleraine, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland

Abstract

Hypertension is a major risk factor for CVD and stroke making it one of the most important preventable causes ofpremature morbidity and mortality. A common polymorphism in the gene encoding the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolatereductase (MTHFR), previously identified as the main genetic determinant of elevated homocysteine concentration, is associated with hypertension. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is required as a cofactor by MTHFR and recent evidence suggests thatit may have a role in modulating blood pressure, specifically in genetically at risk people. Given that the prevalence of thepolymorphism ranges from 3-32 percent worldwide, the clinical and economic implications of confirming that this geneticfactor is associated with suboptimal control of blood pressure, and furthermore that this genetic predisposition for hypertension is correctable by riboflavin, are considerable.


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