Vitamin B may lower risk of stroke
While previous research has reached conflicting conclusions about the effectiveness of vitamin B in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that the supplements could help to reduce the risk of stroke.
In order to determine the role of vitamin B supplements lowering the risk of stroke, researchers at Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China, analyzed 14 randomized clinical trials involving a total of 54,913 participants. All studies compared use of vitamin B supplements with a placebo, or a very low dosage of the vitamin. All participants were then followed for a period of six months.
The results showed that the participants taking the vitamin B supplements had a 7 percent reduced risk of stroke, compared with those taking the placebo supplements or a low dosage of vitamin B. The findings also showed, however, that taking vitamin B supplements did not reduce the severity of strokes or the risk of death.
The type of vitamin B was also critical to the outcome. Researchers found that a supplemental form of folate, vitamin B9, which is a vitamin frequently found in fortified cereals, actually reduced the effectiveness of vitamin B in lowering stroke risk. And vitamin B12 did not have any effect on the risk of stroke.
The scientists also noted that the effect of vitamin B on stroke risk can be dependent on many underlying aspects, such as high blood pressure or kidney disease.