Fortification of food with folic acid to prevent neural-tube defects in babies also lowers plasma total homocysteine, which is a risk factor for vascular disease. We investigated the effect of folate and vitamin B12 on homocysteine concentrations. 30 men and 23 women received sequential supplementation with increasing doses of folic acid. After supplementation, the usual dependency of homocysteine on folate diminished, and vitamin B12 became the main determinant of plasma homocysteine concentration. This finding suggests that a fortification policy based on folic acid and vitamin B12, rather than folic acid alone, is likely to be much more effective at lowering of homocysteine concentrations, with potential benefits for reduction of risk of vascular disease.