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Vitamin B Shows Potential for Reducing Risk of Stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and previous studies have had conflicting findings regarding the link between vitamin B and risk of a stroke. A recent analysis of 14 studies has found that supplementation with vitamin B may reduce the risk of stroke by 7%.

The researchers examined data from 14 studies that included 54,913 people who were followed for a minimum of six months. During that time period, 2,471 strokes were recorded within the study groups.

After examining the data, the researchers discovered that vitamin B supplementation – particularly in the form of folic acid – was associated with the lower risk of stroke. The researchers believe that this was due to the fact that vitamin B helped lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been linked with stroke and cardiovascular issues.

While vitamin B appeared to lower the risk of stroke, it was not found to affect the severity of stroke or risk from death if a stroke occurred.

Researchers from Zhengzhou University in China conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on September 18, 2013, in the journal Neurology.

B vitamins have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reducing breast cancer risk, nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Studies have also suggested that B vitamins may reduce the risk of hearing loss, and birth defects

Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake 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. Folic acid can be found in supplement form and as an additive in foods such as bread, cereal and grains.

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