Can vitamin B supplements help stave off stroke?

New evidence suggests that taking vitamin B supplements may help reduce the risk of stroke. The research appears in the September 18, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Previous studies have conflicting findings regarding the use of vitamin B supplements and stroke or heart attack," said author Xu Yuming, with Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China. "Some studies have even suggested that the supplements may increase the risk of these events."

For the research, scientists analyzed 14 with a total of 54,913 participants. All of the studies compared B vitamin use with a placebo or a very low-dose B vitamin. Participants were then followed for a minimum of six months. There were 2,471 strokes throughout the studies, all of which showed some benefit of taking vitamin B.

Vitamin B lowered the risk of stroke in the studies overall by seven percent. However, taking supplements did not appear to affect the severity of strokes or risk of death from stroke.

Folic acid, a supplemental form of folate (vitamin B9), which is often found in fortified cereals, appeared to reduce the effect of vitamin B. Researchers did not find a reduction in stroke risk for vitamin B12.

"Based on our results, the ability of vitamin B to reduce may be influenced by a number of other factors such as the body's absorption rate, the amount of folic acid or vitamin B12 concentration in the blood, and whether a person has or ," said Yuming. "Before you begin taking any supplements, you should always talk to your doctor."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vitamin C supplements linked to kidney stones

Feb 04, 2013

New research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that men who take vitamin C supplements regularly run a higher risk of developing kidney stones. The study, which is published in the scientific periodical JAMA Internal Me ...

Who benefits from vitamin D?

Aug 13, 2013

Studying the expression of genes that are dependent on vitamin D makes it possible to identify individuals who will benefit from vitamin D supplementation, shows a University of Eastern Finland study published recently in ...

Vitamin D with calcium shown to reduce mortality in elderly

Jun 15, 2012

A study recently published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) suggests that vitamin D—when taken with calcium—can reduce the rate of mortality in seniors, therefore provid ...

Recommended for you

Why your favourite song takes you down memory lane

Aug 28, 2014

Music triggers different functions of the brain, which helps explain why listening to a song you like might be enjoyable but a favourite song may plunge you into nostalgia, scientists said on Thursday.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of brain boosts memory

Aug 28, 2014

Stimulating a particular region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory, reports a new Northwestern Medicine ...

User comments