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Japanese Study Finds B-Vitamins Help Heart Health

By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, April 30, 2010, abstracted from “Dietary Folate and Vitamin B6 and B12 Intake in Relation to Mortality from Cardiovascular Diseases. Japan Collaborative Cohort Study” in the April 2010 issue of Stroke

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, which are the first and third leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States, account for 1 in 3 of all U.S. deaths.  Heart disease and stroke are expected to cost our healthcare system $473 billion in 2009. If all major types of cardiovascular disease were eliminated, U.S. life expectancy would increase by nearly 7 years (1).

Now a new study (2) has found that B-vitamins may help heart health survival.  In the study, 23,119 men and 35,611 women between the ages of 40 and 79 participating in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study completed a food frequency questionnaire and were then followed for an average of 14 years.  

The researchers found that both folic acid and B12 “were inversely associated” with mortality in men for heart failure and in women for stroke, coronary heart disease, and total cardiovascular disease.  In men, those with the highest intake of folic acid (631 micrograms per day) had a 50% reduced risk of heart failure compared to those with the lowest intakes (217 micrograms per day: p = 0.03).  For vitamin B6 (1.5 vs 0.6 milligrams per day), heart failure risks reduced by 61% (p = 0.05)  

For women, those with the highest vs. lowest folic acid intake (619 vs. 225 micrograms per day) had a 37% reduced risk of stroke (p =0.06), 43% reduced risk of heart disease (p = 0.03), and 17% reduced risk of overall cardiovascular disease (p = 0.08).  For vitamin B6 intakes (1.5 vs. 0.7 mg/day), there was a 53% reduced risk of heart failure (p = 0.06) and a 37% reduced risk of stroke (p= 0.06).

For the researchers, “High dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B were associated with reduced risk of mortality from stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure among Japanese.”

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA.  You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at PitchingDoc@msn.com or visiting his web site at www.PitchingDoc.com

Reference:
1. “Cardiovascular Disease at a Glance” posted on www.cdc.gov/
2. Renzhe C.  Dietary Folate and Vitamin B6 and B12 Intake in Relation to Mortality From Cardiovascular Diseases. Japan Collaborative Cohort Study.  Stroke, Apr 2010; doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.578906