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Folic acid supplementation improves arterial elasticity to lower heart attack risk

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by: John Phillip
Tags: folic acid, arteries, heart attack

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(NaturalNews) A primary cause for the dramatic rise in cardiovascular disease leading to coronary artery disease and heart attack deaths is arterial hardening or loss of elasticity in the delicate endothelial lining of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been associated with arterial hardening and thickening, and high circulating blood levels can double or triple the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Prior research bodies have shown that B vitamins naturally lower dangerous levels of homocysteine, and specifically folic acid has demonstrated the capacity to reduce thickening of arterial walls in those individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Scientists from China have published the result of a study in the prestigious journal Atherosclerosis that shows daily supplementation with folic acid reduces hardening of the arteries to counter the development of atherosclerosis.

Folic acid lowers deadly homocysteine levels to prevent stroke and arterial wall thickening

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of ten studies that included 2,052 people set to determine the effect of folic acid on heart health. Past meta-analysis studies found in the journal Clinical Nutrition determined that folic acid lowers stroke risk by 12 percent, again by lowering homocysteine levels in the blood and reducing artery wall thickening.

Researchers found that the data from the meta-analysis supported existing data that folic acid provides potent heart health benefits, and supplementation was associated with less hardening of the arterial walls, especially in those with chronic kidney disease or presently at high risk for cardiovascular disease. The study authors noted that the highest degree of protection was found in studies with the largest reduction in homocysteine levels. This conclusion clearly shows that reducing the deadly homocysteine amino acid reduces risk of both stroke and heart disease in a dose-dependent manner.

The scientists found that daily supplementation with 5 mg of folic acid lowered homocysteine levels by 25 percent, providing a powerful shield against heart disease. The authors concluded "Folic acid supplementation results in significant CIMT (carotid intima-media thickness, a measure of arterial wall thickness) reduction after 18 months in patients with at least one cardiovascular risk." Nutrition experts recommend taking a full-spectrum vitamin B supplement (providing a minimum of 500 mcg folic acid and 300 mcg B12) along with trimethylglycine (500 to 1,000 mg per day) to lower elevated homocysteine levels and dramatically lower stroke and vascular disease risks.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.atherosclerosis-journal.com
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19201496

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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