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This study shows how Folate and B6 helped prevent deaths due to heart failure in men, and how it helped reduce the incidence of stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases in women.  Do you have questions about nutrition and your health?  Call us at 409-740-6800 to set up you nutrition consult.  For more details about this study, just read below.......

Folate and Vitamin B6 Lower Cardiovascular Risk

Emma Hitt, PhD

April 22, 2010 - Dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 reduce the risk for mortality from stroke and any cardiovascular disease in women and may reduce the risk for heart failure in men, according to a study conducted in Japan.

The findings were reported online April 15 in Stroke by Renzhe Cui, MD, from the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka University, in Osaka, Japan, and colleagues.

"This study is the first to show that high dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were associated with a reduced risk of heart failure mortality for men," the authors note.

Data from 23,119 men and 35,611 women (aged 40 - 79 years) who completed food frequency questionnaires as part of the Japan Collaborative Cohort study were analyzed. At a median 14 years of follow-up, 986 participants died from stroke, 424 died from coronary heart disease, and 2087 died from any cardiovascular disease.

Participants' intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 were classified into quintiles. Comparing the lowest vs the highest quintiles for each nutrient, the researchers found that higher consumption of folate and vitamin B6 was associated with significantly fewer deaths from heart failure in men, and significantly fewer deaths from stroke, heart disease, and any cardiovascular diseases in women. By contrast, vitamin B12 intake was not associated with reduced mortality risk.

The protective effects of folate and vitamin B6 remained significant after adjustment for the presence of cardiovascular risk factors and also after exclusion of supplement users (n = 7334) from the analysis.

The hazard ratios (HRs) of coronary heart disease for the highest vs the lowest quintiles were 0.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 - 0.89) for folate, 0.51 (95% CI, 0.29 - 0.91) for vitamin B6, and 1.35 (95% CI, 0.80 - 2.27) for vitamin B12. The HRs of heart failure for the highest vs the lowest quintiles were 0.76 (95% CI, 0.51 - 1.13) for folate, 0.60 (95% CI, 0.32 - 1.13) for vitamin B6, and 1.57 (95% CI, 0.90 - 2.73) for vitamin B12.

"Mechanisms for these observed associations may involve the effects of these vitamin intakes on reduction of blood homocysteine concentrations," the researchers suggest.

This study has received grant funding from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of, Japan (Monbusho), Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Stroke. Published online April 15, 2010.