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doi: 10.1016/S1575-0922(04)74647-1
Homocisteína, metabolismo y determinantes higienicodietéticos
Homocysteine, Metabolism And Dietary Factors
D.A. De Luis, , N. Fernández, R. Aller
Servicio de Endocrinología y Nutrición. Unidad de Apoyo a la Investigación. Hospital Universitario Río Hortega. Instituto de Endocrinología y Nutrición. Facultad de Medicina. Valladolid. España
Recibido 08 julio 2003, Aceptado 17 noviembre 2003

Homocysteine (Hcy) is a sulfur-containing amino acid with a free thiol group that is not found in dietary proteins but is exclusively produced as an intermediate product of methionine and cysteine metabolism. Therefore, the only source of this amino acid is methionine. Hcy concentration is secondary to complex interaction among multiple external and genetics factors and is modified by a series of physiological determinants such as age, sex, menopause, pregnancy and race. Genetic defects can also modify Hcy concentrations and 3 defects have been described: cystathionine-β-synthase deficiency (CBS), N5,N10- methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency (MTHFR) and methionine synthase deficiency (MS). Among the dietary factors that can influence Hcy concentrations are vitamin status, smoking and alcohol consumption, dietary protein intake, and exercise. The consumption of certain drugs, as well as manipulation of the sample obtained, can also influence Hcy levels.

All of these factors should be taken into account when determining Hcy concentrations.


La homocisteína es un aminoácido azufrado caracterizado por la presencia de un grupo tiol libre, que no está presente en las proteínas de la dieta sino que se forma exclusivamente como producto intermediario en el metabolismo de la metionina a cisteína. Por tanto, la única fuente de homocisteína en el organismo es el aminoácido esencial metionina. La concentración de homocisteína total es producto de una compleja interacción entre múltiples factores genéticos y ambientales. En su concentración influyen una serie de determinantes fisiológicos, como la edad, el sexo, la menopausia, el embarazo y la raza. Los defectos genéticos también pueden influir en las concentraciones de homocisteína; existen 3 déficit descritos: deficiencia de cistationina-β-sintasa, deficiencia de la N5,N10-metilentetrahidrofolato reductasa y deficiencia de metionina sintasa. Dentro de los determinantes dietéticos que pueden influir en los valores de homocisteína podemos citar el estatus vitamínico, el consumo de alcohol y tabaco, el contenido de metionina de las proteínas de la dieta y el ejercicio. El consumo de determinados fármacos, así como la manipulación de la muestra obtenida, también puede influir en las concentraciones de este aminoácido.

Es necesario tener en cuenta todos estos determinantes higienicodietéticos a la hora de valorar una determinación aislada de homocisteína.

Palabras clave
Dieta, Homocisteína, Metabolismo
Key words
Diet, Homocysteine, Metabolism
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Correspondencia: Dr. D.A. de Luis. Instituto de Endocrinología y Nutrición. Los Perales, 16 (urbanización Las Aceñas). 47130 Simancas. Valladolid. España.
Copyright © 2004. Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición