The Benefits of B vitamins
An elevated blood homocysteine level is a key risk factor
for Coronary Heart Disease
and circulatory disorders because it damages the lining of the blood vessels.
In fact, research indicates that keeping levels of this toxic amino acid low
is just as important as maintaining a healthy cholesterol level. High total
homocysteine levels can be lowered by treatment with Folic
Acid and vitamin B6, so it is necessary to find
out whether such treatment lowers the risk of atherothrombosis.
Dutch scientists conducted a randomised placebo-controlled
study involving 158 subjects with a family history of premature Atherosclerosis.
80 were given placebo whilst 78 received a daily intake of 5mg folic acid
and 250mg vitamin B6 for 2 years. The results showed that B vitamin therapy
was associated with a decrease in homocysteine concentrations and a decreased
incidence of abnormal exercise electrocardiographic tests. From the data obtained
in the study, the scientists believe that vitamin treatment has a positive effect
on atherothrombotic disease and supplements may be useful in lowering the incidence
of premature vascular disease.
The Lancet, 2000, 355: 517-22
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