Elevated homocysteine has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Although multivitamin use has been associated with low plasma homocysteine concentrations in several observational studies, no clinical trials have been conducted using multivitamin/mineral supplements to lower homocysteine. We determined whether a multivitamin/mineral supplement formulated at about 100% Daily Value will further lower homocysteine concentration and improve B-vitamin status in healthy older adults already consuming a diet fortified with folic acid. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 80 free-living men and women aged 50-87 y with total plasma homocysteine concentrations of > or =8 micromol/L received either a multivitamin/mineral supplement or placebo for 56 d while consuming their usual diet. After the 8-wk treatment, subjects taking the supplement had significantly higher B-vitamin status and lower homocysteine concentration than controls (P: < 0.01). Plasma folate, pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) and vitamin B-12 concentrations were increased 41.6, 36.5 and 13.8%, respectively, in the supplemented group, whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group. The mean homocysteine concentration decreased 9.6% in the supplemented group (P: < 0.001) and was unaffected in the placebo group. There were no significant changes in dietary intake during the intervention. Multivitamin/mineral supplementation can improve B-vitamin status and reduce plasma homocysteine concentration in older adults already consuming a folate-fortified diet.