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Vitamin B Could Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

A new meta-analysis suggests that vitamin B supplementation could reduce the risk of stroke by about 12%. However it had no effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The research was conducted by researchers at Zhejiang University in China, the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan, and Monash University in Australia. Their findings were published online ahead of print on May 29, 2012, in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

The data set included 19 studies and 47,921 participants. The studies ranged in length from 6 to 85 months. The studies provided either folic acid alone or folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.

After analyzing the data, the researchers concluded that vitamin B supplementation was associated with a 12% reduced risk of stroke. However, despite lower homocysteine levels, no association between cardiovascular risk and vitamin B supplementation was found.

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 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 vitamin B rich foods, including broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, tuna, liver, oysters, clams, king crab and salmon. Many flour products are also fortified with B vitamins. If your diet is not rich in these products, you should consider supplementing with a high quality multivitamin or vitamin B12 supplement.

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