: Heart-Healthy Folic Acid
For individuals with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, folic acid supplements may help reduce hardening of the arteries and counter the development of atherosclerosis. A new meta-analysis of 10 clinical trials involving more than 2,000 people found that the benefits were even greater when the researchers used data from trials that reported the greatest reduction in levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease at high levels. Folic acid¡ªalong with vitamins B6 and B12¡ªhelps break homocysteine down in the body.
Separate studies show that low blood levels of folic acid are linked to a higher risk of fatal coronary heart disease and stroke. Choose a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of this important B vitamin.
American Heart Association, www.heart.org ¡ñ ¡°Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation on the Progression of Carotid Intima-Media Thickness . . .¡± by X. Qin et al., Atherosclerosis, 6/12 ¡ñ ¡°Folic Acid Supplements May Slow Artery Hardening: Study¡± by Stephen Daniells, www.nutraingredients-usa.com, 6/6/12