Navigation Links
Vitamin B, Folate Supplements Won't Help Heart
Date:8/19/2008

In fact, new study hints they might be hazardous

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A study to determine whether folic acid and vitamin B supplements help the heart has been cut short, because the pills weren't doing any good and might have even caused participants harm.

"This confirms what a lot of recent studies have found -- no benefit of taking vitamin B supplements to reduce the risk of heart disease, and it raises a few red flags," said Alice H. Lichtenstein, Gershoff professor of nutrition at Tufts University, Boston.

In the new study, reported in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, physicians at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, enrolled almost 3,100 volunteers. Three-quarters of them took various doses of vitamin B and folic acid (which is chemically a B vitamin), while the others got a placebo, an inactive substance.

The study was ended early, after an average follow-up of 38 months, because "we could not detect any preventive effect of intervention with folic acid plus vitamin B12 or with vitamin B6 on mortality or major cardiovascular events," the researchers reported.

They did find a slight reduction of stroke, but also a slight increase of cancer in those taking folic acid, but neither of these results reached statistical significance. The study was ended, because another Norwegian study of folic acid and vitamin B supplementation has also hinted at an increased incidence of cancer among users.

But the real bottom line here, according to Lichtenstein, is that "there is no evidence that individuals should take B vitamins to decrease the risk of heart disease, and there may be some evidence that they shouldn't."

The trials were initiated, because observational studies did link high blood levels of a protein called homocysteine with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In the new study, homocysteine levels did go down by 30 percent over the course of three years in people taking folic acid and vitamin B. However, there was no related effect on the risk of cardiovascular events.

So, "the observational data was great, but the interventional studies were negative," Lichtenstein said.

Food in the United States is routinely fortified with folic acid, because it reduces the incidence of a specific class of birth defects called neural tube defects. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables.

"We have been optimistic about the role of antioxidants such as vitamin B in preventing heart disease, yet many of these large trials have shown that there is no benefit," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

It's hard to say whether the reduction in cardiovascular disease seen in some observational trials was caused by vitamin supplementation or because "people taking the supplements have good lifestyles in general," Steinbaum said.

It is also possible that the benefits of vitamin supplements show up only after many years, Steinbaum said. She does recommend a daily multivitamin pill. "But at this point, it is certainly hard to recommend extra supplements when we don't have proof of benefit," Steinbaum said. "What we can recommend is a diet with fruits and vegetables that have antioxidant vitamins in them," she said.

More information

There's more on folic acid supplementation at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.



SOURCES: Alice M. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., Stanley Gershoff professor, nutrition, Tufts University, Boston; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., director, women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Aug. 20, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


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

Related medicine news :

1. New Vitamin Targets Needs of Nurses
2. Low Vitamin D Raises Womens Hip Fracture Risk
3. Lack of Vitamin D Boosts Death Risk
4. Vitamin C injections slow tumor growth in mice
5. Vitalize(TM) Receives Top Multivitamin Rating
6. July 2008 Mayo Clinic Womens HealthSource Highlights Vitamin D, Savvy Use of Sunscreen and Gastrointestinal Upset and Celiac Disease
7. Moms Vitamin D Levels Affect Babys Dental Health
8. Mothers vitamin D status during pregnancy will affect her babys dental health
9. Photo: VitaminLife.com Sees Internet Sales Up 40% in Major Metro Markets as Gas Crisis Looms; Shopping Behaviors Change as People Conserve Gas
10. Low Vitamin D Could Raise Death Risk
11. Vitamin D May Promote Colon Cancer Survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Vitamin B, Folate Supplements Won't Help Heart
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... will be giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of ... that focuses on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From ... every danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the ... is a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions ... Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in ... will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... IRVING, Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris ... science focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, ... Institute has joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as ... leading cancer centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute ... to advance the use of tumor profiling, making cancer ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... CHICAGO , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, ... its Aspen Surgical facility in Las Piedras, ... surgical scalpels and blades. ... confirmed that the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary ... Hurricane Maria. Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Pa. , Oct. 10, 2017   West ... in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today shared ... West,s ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration of ... Fourth Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by Dr. ... Lead, Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and recently ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: