Folic Acid Supplementation may Minimize the Risk of Three of the Biggest Circulatory Diseases

November 23, 2002

A study, a so called meta analysis of 92 studies involving 20,669 patients, was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) the 23 November 2002.

Earlier studies have found a connection with a too high value of the substance Homocysteine in the body with coronary diseases like blood clots in the heart, blood clots in the legs, and in the brain.

Homocysteine is increased by deficiency of several vitamin Bs, especially vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid, and by a common genetic defect that reduces the activity of an enzyme in the folic acid metabolism. The result of this defect is a condition called “functional vitamin B deficiency”, which means a need for greater intake of folic acid in the exposed ones.

Increased homocysteine – no matter the cause – has shown to be significantly related to the three following diseases. By a reduction in the homocysteine of the blood of 3 mikromol/l it was possible to decrease the incidents of heart diseases with 16%. Deep venetrombose, with or without lung emboli, with 25%. The reduction in the frequens of blood cloths in the brain (strokes) was 24%.

The authors conclude:
That by reducing the homocysteine concentration with 3 mikromol/l (which alone can be obtained by increasing the folic acid intake, editor) the risk of heart disease can be reduced with 16%, the risk of deep venetrombose with 25%, and the risk of stroke with 24%.

By: Per Tork Larsen, DSOM

British Medical Journal; Nov, 2002.