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:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... More than 20,000 pairs of ... Congo (DRC) thanks to an ambitious venture that conjoined the passions of an NBA ... support of the Liberty community. These shoes will save lives from the rampant infections ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet today announces the launch ... lifestyles and highlighting the importance of proactive eye and ear health. The campaign ... latest innovations in hearing aid technology. , In this issue, the National ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... handling handheld devices. Through an educational webinar, they will present the line of ... chance to learn how easy you can automate everyday pipetting tasks. , Ideal ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Radabaugh & Associates, a family managed agency ... West Virginia, is embarking on a cooperative charity effort with the Chestnut Mountain ... Chestnut Mountain Ranch (CMR) is a Christ-centered boarding school for young men offering ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... The Brian Gifford Agency, an ... is campaigning in support of Campagna Academy in a charity drive to provide for ... Boys’ Town of Indiana,” Campagna Academy is a nonprofit organization that has offered critical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... AccuGenomics, Inc., a diagnostic company based in ... the company has provided an AccuKit to the HIV ... Chapel Hill and to Qura Therapeutics for evaluation in ... HIV reservoir and viral expression in human CD4+ T ... Center is a joint initiative between the University of ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... Aug. 8, 2017  BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ/TASE: BLRX), a ... reports its financial results for the second quarter ended ... the second quarter 2017 and to date: ... development programs for the Company,s lead project, BL-8040: ... study with BL-8040 as novel stem cell mobilization treatment ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), the nation,s largest ... June 30, 2017.  All comparisons, unless otherwise noted, are to ... Second Quarter 2017 Highlights include: ... an increase of 3.5% Total prescriptions dispensed ... of 7.5% versus 7.6% Gross profit ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: