MTHFR Gene and Pravastatin Efficacy

Pravastatin (Pravachol) is used together with diet, weight-loss, and exercise to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people who are at risk of developing heart disease. Pravastatin is also used to reduce the amount of fatty substances such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ('bad cholesterol') and triglycerides in the blood and to increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ('good cholesterol') in the blood. Pravastatin is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body to decrease the amount of cholesterol that may build up on the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.

The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is involved in a multistep process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. Mutations of the MTHFR gene leads to the production of a nonfunctional version of the enzyme. Without the functional enzyme, homocysteine cannot be converted to methionine, leading to a build up of homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine have been shown to be an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke, thrombotic and cardiovascular diseases. MTHFR rs1801133 polymorphism appears to modify the efficacy of pravastatin in reducing risk of cardiovascular events.1

Related to:
Statins, Pravachol, Cholesterol, CAD