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Folic acid and stroke risk

Doctors in this large review analyzed findings from 11 placebo-controlled studies of 65,790 people with cardiovascular disease. Participants took a placebo, or folic acid alone or with other B-vitamins in doses ranging from 500 mcg to 5 mg per day, over 12 to 87 months.

Overall compared to placebo, those taking folic acid were 10 percent less likely to have experienced a stroke. In men and women who had at least a 25 percent reduction in the inflammatory factor homocysteine, those taking folic acid were 15 percent less likely to experience a stroke.

Discussing the findings, doctors said high levels of homocysteine increase chances for heart and circulatory problems, and that folic acid and other B-vitamins appear to reduce homocysteine levels, lowering chances for stroke and other circulatory events.

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