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:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... 21 Middle East and ... has selected 21 leaders from government, business and civil society in 11 countries across ... U.S. this fall, engaging in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ross Insurance ... With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recent update of flood zones, more ... 2012, the Biggert-Waters Act was enacted to reflect the actual risk in flood ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Katyl Agency, ... to families and business owners in and around Lackawanna County, is joining Meals ... in the area. , Meals on Wheels of NEPA provides hand-delivered and nutritious ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Radabaugh & Associates, a locally ... business owners in North Central West Virginia, is embarking on a cooperative charity ... residents in the region. , The Stepping Stones organization offers a series of ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Plastic Surgery Associates is proud to report ... 2017. Each year, research and information firm, Castle Connolly, releases their list of the ... this marks the 3rd time that Dr. Canales has been recognized by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/29/2017)... 2017  Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: APOP ... the functional selection of stem cells, today provided a ... quarter ended March 31 st , 2017. ... the first quarter of 2017," said Dr. Shai Yarkoni, ... the treatment of the first blood cancer patient in ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... 2017  ivWatch LLC today announced the launch ... to enable seamless integration of ivWatch,s groundbreaking IV ... pumps and other devices. By integrating ivWatch technology ... help health care customers deliver a higher level ... IV therapy. "The ivWatch OEM Board ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... 22, 2017  As the specialty pharmacy industry ... to make the revolutionary shift from volume-based to ... ensuring positive patient outcomes and shaping the future ... focus away from clinical trials and toward data ... specialty drug therapy utilization in precise patient populations. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: