Improving homocysteine levels through balneotherapy: effects of sulphur baths.

Authors: Leibetseder V (1) , Strauss-Blasche G (1) , Holzer F (2) , Marktl W (1) , Ekmekcioglu C (1)
(1) Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Vienna (2) Kurzentrum, Baden bei Wien, Austria
Source: Clin Chim Acta. 2004 May;343(1-2):105-11
DOI: 10.1016/j.cccn.2003.12.024 Publication date: Not specified E-Publication date: March 4, 2004 Availability: abstract Copyright: Copyright © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Language: English Countries: Austria Location: Kurzentrum, Baden bei Wien, Austria Correspondence address: Valentin Leibetseder : Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, Vienna A-1090, Austria.


Article abstract


Plasma homocysteine (tHcy) is a risk factor for cardio-vascular diseases. Furthermore it has been associated with antioxidative status. Additionally balneotherapeutic sulphur baths have been shown to influence antioxidative status.


40 patients with degenerative osteoarthrosis were randomised into two equal groups, a treatment group, receiving stationary spa therapy plus daily sulphur baths (sulphur group) and a control group receiving spa therapy alone (control group). Blood tHcy levels and urinary 8-OHdG (an indicator for oxidative stress) were measured at the beginning and the end of spa therapy.


tHcy (micromol/l) was significantly reduced from 11.41 (+/-2.91) to 10.55 (+/-2.28) in the sulphur group (p=0.016) and rose insignificantly from 12.93 (+/-2.28) to 13.80 (+/-3.87) in the control group. 8-OHdG (ng 8-OHdG/mg creatinine) declined from 18.00 (+/-18.28) to 11.16 (+/-5.33) in the sulphur group (n.s.) and from 17.91 (+/-5.87) to 18.17 (+/-5.70) in the control group (n.s.). Differences between the two groups showed significant effects of sulphur baths for tHcy (p=0.006) but not for 8-OHdG (p=0.106).


Sulphur baths exert beneficial effects on plasma tHcyt whereas effects on 8-OHdG seem to be unlikely.

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