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Folate Intake Associated With Reduced Risk of CHD

A recent meta-analysis suggests that folate intake is inversely related to coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. The study was conducted at Nanjing Medical University and the findings were published on September 14, 2011 in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases.

The review included 15 studies that examined the relationship between folate intake and CHD risk conducted between 1966 and August 2010. Seven of the studies examined dietary folate and the other 8 looked at blood folate.

The researchers found that the highest folate intake was associated with a noticeably reduced risk of CHD and that a folate intake increase of 200 micrograms per day seemed to result in a 12% reduced risk of developing CHD. The association between blood folate levels and reduced risk of CHD was smaller but still significant, with an increase of 5 mmol/l associated with an 8% reduced risk of CHD.

Folate is a B vitamin that plays an essential role in the necessary functions of the human body. It has been associated with nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Previous studies have also found a potential link between these important vitamins and reductions in the risk of stroke, hearing loss and birth defects.

Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake of these essential vitamins by eating more folate rich foods. Some foods rich in folate include liver, eggs, beans, sunflower seeds, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupes, and other melons. The man-made version of folate is called folic acid and can be found in supplement form and as an additive in foods such as bread, cereal and grains.

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