Friday, March 31, 2006

Studies Find B Vitamins Don't Prevent Heart Attacks

A widely promoted B vitamin regimen for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes has shown no beneficial effects in people at high risk, researchers are reporting today.

The hypothesis was that B vitamins — folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 — can protect people against homocysteine, an amino acid that some doctors said was as important and dangerous a risk factor for heart disease as cholesterol.

B vitamins, which are found in a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, have no known harmful effects. And if people take them as supplements, their homocysteine levels plummet.

So it seemed reasonable to many doctors and patients to expect that taking the vitamins would be protective. It might be even better than taking statins, some said, which are well established to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.

It was not, the new studies find.

Source - New York Times

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