Stroke :: Folic acid lowers stroke risk
Folic acid supplements can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 30 percent, revealed by researchers in a new study.
Vitamin B and Folic Acid supplements are already recommended for women who have just got pregnant or are trying to conceive because folic acid and folates protect against birth defects in the baby.
Authors of the study which is published in this week’s addition of the Lancet state that people who regularly take folic acid supplements are at an 18% reduced risk of having a stroke compared to people who do not take it. Folic acid reduces homocysteine levels in the blood, also improves the health of arteries.
Homocysteine, an amino acid believed to boost the danger of stroke, heart disease and deep vein thrombosis.
Researchers, led by Professor Xiaobin Wang, from Northwestern University in Chicago, US, combined together the Lancet review of eight folic acid trials, centering on stroke. They found that folic acid supplementation reduced the risk of stroke by an average 18 percent. More thorough examination showed that long periods of treatment lasting over 36 months could reduce the risk by 30 percent.
Professor Wang`s team recommended more research, among individuals with no history of stroke who are from regions without grain fortification, with longer follow-up – four years or longer.
The current advice is that all adults consume 200 micrograms of folate per day, and that women who are pregnant or thinking of having a baby should take a daily 400 microgram supplement from the time they start trying for a baby until the 12th week of pregnancy.
Mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid is already in place in several countries, including the US, to help ensure this.