Mihaela Jurdana, Nadja Plazar, and Rado Pišot, College of Health Care Izola, Izola, University of Primorska, Slovenia
Insitute of Kinesiology research, Science and research centre Koper, University of Primorska, Slovenia


Physical inactivity is the second most significant risk factor for chronic non-infectious contagious
diseases in developed countries. However, conditions have slightly improved in the past few years;
still, only 20 % of the population is being active in a fashion to reduce the probability of
cardiovascular complications. Epidemiological research has confirmed that regular physical activity
and nutrition containing sufficient quantities of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, reduce the level of
homocysteine in blood. In our research, we studied the influence of long-lasting inactivity on the level
of homocysteine and folic acid levels in blood. Ten male subjects were resting in horizontal position
for 35 days in a clinical setting. After 35 days of resting we documented a statistically relevant
increase in homocysteine level and decrease of folic acid concentration, despite supervised nutrition.
We can conclude that prolonged physical inactivity is an autonomous, independent risk factor for the
development of cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: microgravity, physical inactivity, homocysteine, folic acid.


Biolo G, Ciocchi B, Stulle M, Piccoli A, Lorenzon S, Dal Mas V, Barazzoni R, Zanetti M and
Guarnieri G (2005). Metabolic consequence of physical inactivity. J Ren Nutr 2005, 15(1), 49-53.
2. Nygard O,Vollset SE, Refsum H, Stensvold I, Tverdal A, Nordrehaug JE, Ueland M and Kvåle G
(1995). Total plasma homocysteine and cardiovascular risk profile. The Hordaland Homocysteine
Study. JAMA, 274(19), 1526-1533.
3. Shai I, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Manson JE, Hankinson SE, Cannuscio C, Selhub J, Curhan G and Rimm
EB (2004). Homocysteine as a risk factor for coronary heart diseases and its association with
inflammatory biomarkers, lipids and dietary factors. Atherosclerosis, 177(2), 375-381.
4. Stegnar M (2002). Hiperhomocisteinemija in žilna bolezen. Farm Vestn, 343-346.
5. Van Guldener C and Stehouwer C (2003). Homocysteine metabolism in renal disease. Clin Chem Lab
Med, (41), 1412-1417.
6. Boden-Albala B and Sacco RL (2000). Lifestyle factors and stroke risk: Exercise, alcohol, diet,
obestity, smoking, drug use and stress. Curr Atheroscler Rep, 2(2), 160-166.
7. Siri PW, Verhoef P and Kok FJ (1998). Vitamins B6, B12, and folate: association with plasma total
homocysteine and risk for coronary atherosclerosis. J Am Coll Nutr, 17(5), 435-441.
8. Kraševec-Ravnik E and Bevc-Stankovič M. Svetovni dan gibanja 2008: Telesna dejavnost za vse.
9. Gaume V, Mougin F, Figard H, Simon-Rigaud ML, N’Guyen UN, Callier J, Kantelip JP and
Berthelot A (2005). Physical training decreases total plasma homocysteine and cysteine in middleaged
subjects. Ann Nutr Metab, 49(2), 125-31.
10. Dankner R, Chetrit A, Dror GK et al. (2007). Physical activity is inversely associated with total
homocysteine levels, independent of C677T MTHFR genotype and plasma B vitamins. Age, (29),
11. Clarke R, Levington S, Donald A, Johnston C, Refsum H, Stratton I, Jacques P, Breteler MM and
Holman R (2001). Understiation of the importance of homocysteine as a risk factor for cardiovascular
disease in epidemiological studies. J Cardiovasc Risc, 8, 396-399.
12. Chen P, Poddar R, Tipa EV, Dibello PM, Moravec CD, Robinson K, Green R, Kruger WD, Garrow
TA and Jacobsen DW (1999). Homocysteine metabolism in cardiovascular cells and tissues:
implications for hyperhomocysteinemia and cardiovascular disease. Adv Enzyme Regul, 39, 93-109.
13. Eiken O and Mekjavic IB (2002). The Valdoltra Bedrest Study: Effects of 35 days of
horizontal bedrest on the unction of peripheral blood vessels, the thermoregulatory system
and on the function and structure of the musculoskeletal system. Report No. FOI-R-0748-SE.
Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), NBC Defence, Defence Medicine: Umea. (2002).
14. Adams GR, Caiozzo VJ and Baldwin KM (2003). Skeletal muscle unweighting: spaceflight and
ground-based models. J Appl Physiol, 95(6), 2185-2201.