A Vitamin B Supplement A Day May Keep Stroke Away
Taking vitamin B supplements may help prevent stroke, according to a new study.
"Previous studies have conflicting findings regarding the use of vitamin B supplements and stroke or heart attack," study author Xu Yuming, with Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China, said in a news release. "Some studies have even suggested that the supplements may increase the risk of these events."
In the study, researchers analyzed 14 randomized clinical trials with a total of 54,913 participants. All of the studies included in the review compared vitamin B supplements with a placebo or a very low-dose B vitamin.
Participants in the study were then followed for a minimum of six months. Researchers said there were 2,471 strokes overall, and all of which showed some benefit of taking vitamin B.
The findings revealed that vitamin B lowered the risk of stroke in the studies overall by 7 percent. However, taking the supplements did not appear to affect the severity of strokes or risk of death from stroke.
However, folic acid, a supplement that is often found in fortified cereals appeared to reduce the effect of vitamin B.
"Based on our results, the ability of vitamin B to reduce stroke risk may be influenced by a number of other factors such as the body's absorption rate, the amount of folic acid or vitamin B12 concentration in the blood, and whether a person has kidney disease or high blood pressure," said Yuming. "Before you begin taking any supplements, you should always talk to your doctor."