n International SportMed Journal - Effects of supplement consumption on homocysteine levels of competitive swimmers : original research article




High homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations are associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite the known high incidence of the use of food supplements by athletes, little is known about the possible effect of the use of protein supplements containing methionine (Met) on Hcy metabolism. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the consumption of protein supplements can increase the ingestion of Met and Hcy levels. Seventeen swimmers (8 males and 9 females) aged 20.11±2.26 years were evaluated in terms of biochemical profile and habitual food consumption. After the application of a questionnaire about the use of food supplements, the swimmers were divided into three groups: control (C), energy supplement consumption (ES), and protein-energy supplement consumption (PES). The results showed that 82% of the individuals used some type of supplement, with PES being consumed by 36% of them. The addition of a supplement did not significantly increase protein or methionine intake in the PES group compared to C and ES groups. No significant differences in plasma Hcy concentrations were detected between groups, but a positive correlation was observed between Met intake and serum Hcy (r = 0.65; p=0.01), and a negative correlation was also detected between serum Hcy and serum vitamin B12 (r = -0.52; p=0.03). In conclusion, it was observed that, even in the absence of protein intake modulation and changes in Hcy levels, the ingestion of methionine through food supplements is associated with plasma Hcy levels.


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