New findings suggest B-vitamins can reduce chances of stroke. In this study, doctors followed 10,789 Chinese men and women, average age 59.5 years, with high blood pressure-a factor in stroke-but who had never had a stroke. Participants took 10 mg of the blood pressure medication Enalapril, with or without 800 mcg of folic acid per day.
Doctors also measured factors that can contribute to stroke: platelets, which help the body form blood clots after injury; and homocysteine, an inflammatory factor that influences circulatory health. Low platelet counts and high homocysteine levels increase chances for stroke, doctors said. None were taking anti-platelet drugs.
After 4.2 years, in the enalapril-only group, as platelet counts decreased and inflammation levels rose, chances for a first stroke increased. For those taking folic acid with enalapril, compared to enalapril alone, chances for a first stroke declined by 73 percent for those with the lowest platelet counts and highest inflammation levels. Identifying those who would benefit most from taking folic acid supplements may be a simple, safe, and inexpensive way to reduce the chances of a first stroke.
Reference: Journal of the American College of Cardiology; May, 2018, Vol. 71, No. 19
Folic Acid 800 mcg is available from may suppliers.