Saturday, September 18, 2010

Higher Vitamin-B Intake Could Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk!

In order to prevent heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease), people might need to consume more foods that contain folate and Vitamin-B6.

Folate, also known as Vitamin-Bg, is a water-soluble Vitamin-B that is contained naturally in food. The synthetic form of folate found in supplements is known as folic acid. Folate can be found in leafy vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), fruits (like citrus fruits and juices), fortified cereals, and dried beans and peas. Vegetables, fish, liver, meats, whole grains, and fortified cereals are good sources of Vitamin-B6.

A group of researchers from Osaka University, who published their findings in Stroke (Journal of the American Heart Association), reported that eating more foods rich in folate and Vitamin-B6 could lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease for Japanese women and might cut the risk of heart failure in Japanese men.

The dietary consumption of Vitamin-B6 is generally considered low in Japan than in the United States but the findings were consistent with those studies conducted in Europe and North America.

As part of the large Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study, data collected through completed food frequency questionnaires from 23,119 men and 35,611 women, aged between 40 and 79, were analyzed. All the participants were followed for a period of 14 years and it was found that 986 died from stroke, 424 from heart disease and 2,087 from all diseases related to cardiovascular system.

Based on intake of folate, Vitamin-B6 and Vitamin-B12, the participants were divided into 5 groups. The researchers found that with higher intake of folate and Vitamin-B6, number of men died of heart failure was significantly lower, and number of women died from stroke, heart disease and total cardiovascular diseases was significantly fewer. However, people taking higher Vitamin-B12 were not associated with lower death risk.

According to the researchers, folate and Vitamin-B6 might reduce homocysteine levels in the body by breaking them down thus help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood that is affected by diet and genetic factors. A high level of homocysteine might raise the risk of getting coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

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