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:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health ... technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing ... form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is ... vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds ... by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center ... Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Rockville, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... a magnetic drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention ... regimens can lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. ... for injectable drug administration, today announced that it will ... on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will follow with ... expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on ... The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  True Health, a leader in ... effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to ... Research recently ... that more than 10 million American women are ... BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, ... solutions for injectable drug administration, today shared the results ... Adapter for improving the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. ... Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej ... Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and recently published in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: