Folic acid may help prevent hardening of the arteries
by Newsletter Editor
A B-vitamin (folic acid) may reduce thickening of the artery walls, or what is called hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Researchers in this analysis reviewed 10 atherosclerosis studies involving 2,052 men and women who took folic acid supplements or a placebo over varying lengths of time. Participants were either healthy or had conditions involving hardening of the arteries.
Overall, compared to placebo, those who consistently took folic acid supplements had less thickening of the artery walls over time. In particular, people with chronic kidney disease or those who were more likely to have severe cardiovascular disease saw the greatest benefit from regularly taking folic acid supplements.
Also, people who began the studies with more-advanced artery hardening, and who took folic acid supplements, saw homocysteine levels decline the most. High homocysteine levels raise the chances of heart trouble, and these participants had the greatest heart-health benefits from taking folic acid.