For better heart health, researchers of a new study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, explained that higher intake of folate and vitamin B6 may be a great idea.
Increasing intake of the B vitamins and folate was said to considerably reduce risks for stroke and total cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, particularly in women for the former, and in men for the latter condition.
These findings were supported by the researchers in Japan through a 14-year study of more than 23,000 men and over 35,500 women that were divided into five groups depending on which vitamin-intake they belong to. Between the ages of 40 and 79 years old, the participants were supplemented with folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
Folate and the B vitamins contribute to better heart health by targeting levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood. Epidemiological researches suggest that high homocysteine blood concentration damages the inner lining of the arteries and forms blood clots. Folate and B vitamins prevent this from happening by lowering homocystein levels in the blood.
Experts suggest that for better heart health, it is important to get enough folate by eating foods like cereals, enriched grains, vegetables and fruits, beans and legumes. For enough B6, it is suggested to eat enough fish, liver, meats, vegetables, whole grains and fortified cereals.
Nutritional supplements and vitamins could also be used to assure proper levels of these nutrients are achieved.