Folate Lowered Stroke Risk in Large Study
Publisher's abstract: Stroke.
Men who consume large amounts
of the B vitamin folate have a reduced risk of ischemic stroke,
a study published in the journal Stroke shows.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois followed a
group of nearly 44,000 men for 14 years, noting their folate intake.
In this study, men taking the most folate - half of whom had an
intake of over 821 micrograms a day - had a 30 per cent lower
risk of ischemic stroke compared to those consuming around 262
micrograms of folic acid a day, or less.
An ischemic stroke is one which is caused by a blood clot in
the brain, while a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding. There
was no link between folate intake and hemorrhagic stroke.
Previous research has pointed to the health benefits of an adequate
intake of the B vitamin folate. It seems to work by preventing
the build up of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been shown
to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and generate oxidizing
Media Reports and He
K. Folate, vitamin B6, and B12 intakes in relation to risk of stroke
among men. Stroke. 2004 Jan;35(1):169-74.
- Additional studies are forthcoming that will further
demonstrate whether folate intake has a direct, causal role
in reducing the risk for stroke, heart attack, or other cardiac
- It is possible that other factors may be responsible
for the reduction in risk. People with a high intake of one
nutrient are likely to have a high intake of several nutrients,
and may generally have a healthy lifestyle.
- Intake of more than 1000 mcg/day of folate
can hide symptoms of B12 deficiency. A blood test can measure
serum B12, or see if methylmalonic acid is elevated as a
proxy for functional B12 shortage. Oral supplementation
with 1000 mcg/day of B12 corrects or protects against most
cases of deficiency (except those due to metabolic or serious
malabsorption issues). If untreated, B12 deficiency can
result in nerve damage.
- This article is not intended to replace the
advice or attention of your doctor or other health care
professional. Do not stop taking medications or start taking
any nutrition supplement without first speaking to a qualified
health care professional.