Relationship Between B-Vitamin Biomarkers and Dietary Intake with Apolipoprotein E є4 in Alzheimer's Disease

Nathan M D'Cunha, Ekavi N Georgousopoulou, Lyndell Boyd, Martin Veysey, Jonathan Sturm, Bill O'Brien, Mark Lucock, Andrew J McKune, Duane D Mellor, Paul D Roach, Nenad Naumovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential for B-vitamins to reduce plasma homocysteine (Hcy) and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been described previously. However, the role of Apolipoprotein E є4 (APOE4) in this relationship has not been adequately addressed. This case-control study explored APOE4 genotype in an Australian sample of 63 healthy individuals (female = 38; age = 76.9 ± 4.7 y) and 63 individuals with AD (female = 35, age = 77.1 ± 5.3 y). Findings revealed 55 of 126 participants expressed the APOE4 genotype with 37 of 126 having both AD and the APOE4 genotype. Analysis revealed an increased likelihood of AD when Hcy levels are >11.0 µmol/L (p = 0.012), cysteine levels were <255 µmol/L (p = 0.033) and serum folate was <22.0 nmol/L (p = 0.003; in males only). In females, dietary intake of total folate <336 µg/day (p=0.001), natural folate <270 µg/day (p = 0.011), and vitamin B2 < 1.12 mg/day (p = 0.028) was associated with an increased AD risk. These results support Hcy, Cys, and SF as useful biomarkers for AD, irrespective of APOE4 genotype and as such should be considered as part of screening and managing risk of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-195
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of nutrition in gerontology and geriatrics
Issue number2
Early online date29 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Aged
  • Alzheimer disease
  • aging
  • apolipoprotein E
  • cysteine
  • dementia
  • elderly
  • folate
  • folic acid
  • homocysteine
  • nutritional vulnerability


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