Navigation Links
Folic Acid Doesn't Help the Heart
Date:5/6/2008

Long-term study, involving women, deals another blow to homocysteine theory

TUESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Folic acid and vitamin B supplements aimed at reducing blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine did not protect women against heart disease and stroke, a long-term study found.

It's the latest of several trials to douse the hope that lowering homocysteine levels could reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, said study lead author Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"To our knowledge, this is the trial with the longest follow-up," Manson said. "And to date, it is the largest study of women."

The trial also included a large number of women without cardiovascular disease, she said. Most earlier studies concentrated on people who already had had a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problem.

The new findings were published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The trial included more than 5,400 U.S. women who were health professionals. Some had a history of cardiovascular disease, and others had three or more coronary risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity or diabetes. Half of the women took a daily combination pill containing 2.5 milligrams of folic acid, 50 milligrams of vitamin B6, and 1 milligram of vitamin B12, while the other half took a placebo.

Over the next 7.3 years, 14.9 percent of the women taking the active pill had a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. The incidence of such events in the women taking the inactive pill was almost the same -- 14.3 percent.

There still are ongoing trials, all stimulated by past studies suggesting an association between high blood levels of homocysteine and cardiovascular disease. But the latest results "cast further doubt on the hypothesis that lowering homocysteine prevents cardiovascular events," Manson said. "Folic acid supplements should not be used for the express purpose of preventing cardiovascular events."

The supplements do have their uses, Manson was quick to add. Folic acid is known to prevent birth defects that affect a baby's brain and spine. "We strongly recommend that women who might become pregnant take additional folic acid supplements," she said.

Manson used the word "additional," because bread and other grain products in the United States and other developed countries are fortified with folic acid. Natural sources of folic acid include green leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

Supplements could be recommended routinely for people in countries where no such fortification is done, said Dr. Eva Lonn, professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.

"But what we have learned from the trials in North America, where folic acid is added to flour products, is that there is no role for homocysteine screening or treatment in cardiovascular disease," Lonn said.

Some studies have indicated that folic acid supplements might protect against Alzheimer's disease, she said. "But they aren't conclusive," she added. "We need randomized trials with hard endpoints."

More information

A woman's guide to folic acid is offered by the U.S. National Women's Health Information Center.



SOURCES: JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., chief of preventive medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Eva Lonn, M.D., professor of medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; May 7, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Womens Folic Acid Levels Improving
2. Folic Acid May Help Prevent Premature Birth
3. Folic Acid in the Food Supply Reduces Birth Defects, but May Cause Extra Cancers, Reports the Harvard Womens Health Watch
4. Drug for cluster headaches may cause heart problems
5. Use of certain lipid measures not more effective in predicting coronary heart disease
6. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
7. Urban Smog Tough on Young Adults Hearts
8. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
9. Vitamin Es lack of heart benefit linked to dosage
10. Drug That Lowers Resting Heart Rate Being Tested
11. Heart Attack Boosts Diabetes Risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/19/2017)... Warwick, RI (PRWEB) , ... February 19, 2017 ... ... data is proven to result in better care, and MEDfx and the Delaware ... the state of Delaware. , As the nation’s first state-wide health information exchange, ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... Devicemakers , Sponsored by Axendia, **FDAnews Free Webinar**, March 1, 2017 — ... looking to reduce their regulatory burden? Pay dividends in enhanced and predictable ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... Lewisberry, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... more about the Stannah Stairlift and other Butler products. Ken was impressed with ... team, and agreed to endorse the product on his show. This endorsement by ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Park Cities Pet Sitter President, Joette White, has ... Life Radio network. The episode, which was posted this week, features a 30-minute ... led to Park Cities Pet Sitter’s being awarded the 2017 National Association of Professional ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... La. (PRWEB) , ... February 18, 2017 , ... ... released today provides the latest information and contact points to easily connect elderly ... home care, assisted living, and elder-care funding. It also conveys material on this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... -- Acute, Chronic and Prophylaxis GVHD The global ... of 7% from 2016-2021 and CAGR of 3% from 2021-2027. The market ... 2027. The market is estimated at $0.36bn in 2016, $0.51bn in 2021, ... How ... can exploit the future business opportunities emerging in this sector. ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... , February 18, 2017 Marapharm ... to purchase a Medical Delivery Service with the specific ... transactions between qualified patients and caregivers. The delivery service ... located in the Coachella Valley, California ... Los Angeles area to the West, population ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... Feb. 17, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , and ... 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis is provided for these ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: