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Relationship between Total Homocysteine, Folic Acid, and Thyroid Hormones in Hypothyroid Dogs

Relationship between Total Homocysteine, Folic Acid, and Thyroid Hormones in Hypothyroid Dogs

One phrase struck me as I glanced at this abstract - "numerous secondary disorders"! That the authors even recognise that secondary disorders arise deserves a gold star.

J Vet Intern Med. 2017 Sep-Oct; 31(5): 1403–1405.

Published online 2017 Aug 14. doi: 10.1111/jvim.14804

PMCID: PMC5598881

Relationship between Total Homocysteine, Folic Acid, and Thyroid Hormones in Hypothyroid Dogs

M. Gołyński,corresponding author 1 K. Lutnicki, 1 W. Krumrych, 2 M. Szczepanik, 1 M. Gołyńska, 3 P. Wilkołek, 1 Ł. Adamek, 1 Ł. Sitkowski, 4 and Ł. Kurek 1

1 Department and Clinic of Animal Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland,

2 Department of Immunobiology, Institute of Experimental Biology, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz, Poland,

3 Department and Clinic of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland,

4 German Studies and Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities, Maria Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland,

Abstract

Background

Both elevated homocysteine and decreased folic acid concentrations are observed in human patients with hypothyroidism and can influence the development of numerous secondary disorders.

Objectives

The aim of the study was to assess total homocysteine concentration in serum and to examine its relationship with the concentration of folic acid and thyroid hormones (tT4 and fT4).

Animals

Ten healthy and 19 hypothyroid client‐owned dogs.

Methods

Dogs with clinical signs of hypothyroidism had the diagnosis confirmed by additional tests. Total homocysteine, folic acid, total thyroxine, and free thyroxine concentrations in serum were evaluated.

Results

Hypothyroid dogs were diagnosed with increased homocysteine (median 22.20 μmol/L; range, 16.50–37.75) and decreased folic acid (median 20.62 nmol/L; range, 10.54–26.35) concentrations, as compared to healthy dogs (11.52 μmol/L; range, 10.00–16.65 and 30.68 nmol/L; range, 22.84–38.52, respectively). In sick dogs, total homocysteine was inversely correlated with folic acid (ρ = −0.47, P < 0.001), total thyroxine (ρ = −0.69, P = 0.0092), and free thyroxine (ρ = −0.56, P = 0.0302).

Conclusions

Hypothyroidism in dogs causes hyperhomocysteinemia. Concomitant mild folic acid decrease in hypothyroid dogs might be as a result of hyperhomocysteinemia.

Keywords: Canine hypothyroidism, Folic acid, Hyperhomocysteinemia

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

A brief description of Hyperhomocysteinemia:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper...

Image attribution:

By Bev Sykes from Davis, CA, USA - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/ind...

17 Replies
oldestnewest

Very interesting indeed. Thank you Helvella.

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Perhaps this should prompt same research in humans too

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SlowDragon,

It should and maybe, in time, it will.

Although we have to be very wary of directly transferring results across species, I suspect they will be similar in humans. But we do need it to be proved.

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I seem to remember Dr Chatergee (from Dr in the house) treating a patient who had terrible exhaustion with very high homocysteine levels by giving B12 injections

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I remember something similar so I was aware of the connection with low folate and high homocysteine. Let's hope there is further research on humans

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both folate and B12 are needed to recycle homocysteine into a useful building block - if either or both are deficient it will build up.

My suspicion is that the man you are referring to had a rare genetic disorder that meant that his body wasn't able to use B12 properly in the relevant process as the investigation of the problem and the solution involved genetic testing ... and if I am thinking of the same episode then it was resolved through the use of oral supplements rather than injections as the person concerned did not have a problem absorbing B12 from their food.

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Thanks helvella!

Seems we'd get better treatment from vets!

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BadHare not always in my experience but certainly from Dr Jean Dodds:

canine-epilepsy.com/doddsar...

And before anyone says anything @+ username does not work in the HU app

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Half the time, tagging doesn't work from my computer!

There's been some past links posted re hypo critters which seem to show a better understanding than the by the incompetents I get to see!

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Thank you for the link!

I'm currently reading Dr Dodd's 'Canine Nutrigenomics' and learning lots about recent nutrition research, applicable to humans as well.

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milupa that sounds interesting I will see it out ta for info 👍🏽

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homocysteine.co.uk/reduce-y...

This is a great website that clearly explains about homocysteine, the stages in life when levels can rise, what elevated levels can lead to (pregnancy issues, underachiement in adolescence, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, dementias, ...) and how to fix (B12 & Folate).

As thyroidies with our malabsorbtion issues, we definitely need to be aware of the importance of B12, Folate & B6.

Great article helvella

4 likes
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Perhaps we should be adding homocysteine to the list of things to test.

3 likes
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Forgot to say thanks for the super cute photo 😍

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Patrick Halford gave the formula for lowering excessive homocysteine in his books years ago; 20mg of B6, 200mcg of folic acid and 10mcg of B12.

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melodie,

Homocysteine is a regular topic over on the Pernicious Anaemia Society forum.

The interesting thing here is the relation to thyroid hormones.

Supplementation is not always as simple as you put - especially if absorption is compromised.

Reply

Thank you Helvella. My knee-jerk response was a bit callow. None of us would be here if the solution was a bottle of B vitamins.

1 like
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