Vitamin B Rich Diet Could Curb Heart Disease

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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A Japanese study finds that consuming a diet rich in foods containing vitamin B could curb heart disease. Folate and vitamin B-6 may lower the chances of heart disease deaths and fatal stroke in women, and reduce the chances of developing heart failure in men.

Homocysteine, an amino acid that naturally occurs in the body is associated with increased heart disease risk from atherosclerosis that has gained recognition in the past decade. Research suggests that folate and vitamin B-6 might lower homocysteine levels in the body and prevent blockages from atherosclerosis that can lead to heart disease.

Scientists have not been certain of the role of homocysteine for promoting heart disease, but the protein precursor might damage the lining of the arteries, causing blood clots that can lead to heart attack. Vitamin B from foods could prevent blood vessel damage, in turn lowering heart disease risk.

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The potential value of eating a vitamin B rich diet to curb heart disease comes from Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study. Women and men were questioned about food frequency, and the data was analyzed – included were 23,119 men and 35,611 women, ages 40-79).

Five groups were divided and studied, based on vitamin B intake from diet. Folate and vitamin B 6 were linked to fewer deaths from heart failure in men, and significantly fewer deaths from stroke, heart disease and cardiovascular diseases in women that can lead to stroke.

Adjustments were made for individuals using vitamin supplements and those already at risk for heart disease, leading to the same findings. Types of foods that contain the B vitamins folate and vitamin B, that could reduce the risk of heart disease and found in the Japanese study, include whole grains, bean, nuts, fish, meat and vegetables.

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