Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Show Potential As Heart Disease Treatments

Date:
August 22, 2001
Source:
University Of California - San Francisco
Summary:
Red wine and garlic aren’t the only dietary supplements that keep our hearts healthy. Folic acid and vitamin B12 also appear to offer cost-effective treatments for heart disease and the reduction of associated deaths among the adult U.S. population, according to projections in a new University of California, San Francisco study published in the August 22 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).

Red wine and garlic aren’t the only dietary supplements that keep our hearts healthy. Folic acid and vitamin B12 also appear to offer cost-effective treatments for heart disease and the reduction of associated deaths among the adult U.S. population, according to projections in a new University of California, San Francisco study published in the August 22 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).

"The evidence for the beneficial effects of vitamins B12 and folic acid is much stronger than for garlic, vitamin E, and other dietary supplements promoted for heart disease prevention," says Jeffrey A. Tice, MD, principal investigator of the study and UCSF assistant adjunct professor of medicine.

UCSF researchers studied available data on the U.S population’s homocysteine levels, a strong indicator of heart disease risk and associated death. Tice noted that previous studies demonstrated that people with modestly elevated homocysteine levels have higher rates of stroke, heart attack, and death from heart disease compared to those with low to normal homocysteine levels.

In addition, recent randomized clinical trials have shown that folic acid significantly lowered homocysteine levels by 25 percent and that the addition of vitamin B12 lowered levels an additional 7 percent. Moreover, homocysteine levels in the U.S. population have fallen since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated in 1998 that all enriched grain products in the U.S. contain 140 ug of folic acid per 100 g.

Using a computer model, UCSF researchers projected the effects of folic acid and vitamin B12 on the homocysteine levels of all women and men 35-84 years old if treated with these dietary supplements over a ten year period from 2001-2011. The costs of using folic acid and B12 vitamins to further lower homocysteine levels were also studied.

Assuming that the U.S. population consumes their daily dose of grains enriched with the FDA’s folic acid requirement over a ten year period (2001-2011), the UCSF study estimated that heart disease rates and deaths will decrease by 8 percent in women and 13 percent in men.

Moreover, among the U.S. population with known heart disease and elevated homocysteine levels, 310,000 fewer heart disease related deaths are projected to occur over a ten year period if these people add a folic acid (1 mg) and vitamin B12 (0.5) supplement to their daily dose of folic acid enriched grains, rather than consuming folic acid enriched grains alone.

The UCSF study also found that administering daily folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements to everyone with heart disease, as well as to men 45 years and older without heart disease, should save money. In women 55 years and older without heart disease, the cost of vitamin therapy would be low compared to other treatments currently used.

"For most people, especially those with heart disease, taking a folic acid and vitamin B12 supplement is projected not only to be safe and save lives, but also to save money because it prevents heart disease and the costs associated with expensive medical treatments and procedures," said Lee Goldman, MD, senior author of the study and professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine.

He added that a projected 24 billion dollars in the U.S. would be saved between 2001-2011 by treating men and women with heart disease with folic acid and vitamin B12.

Other researchers on the study include Pamela Coxson, PhD, UCSF; Paula A. Goldman, MPH, and Milton C. Weinstein, PhD, Lawrence Williams, MS, all of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; M.G. Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD, Irwin Rosenberg, MD, Elizabeth Ross, MD, all of Tufts University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - San Francisco. "Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Show Potential As Heart Disease Treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010822081046.htm>.
University Of California - San Francisco. (2001, August 22). Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Show Potential As Heart Disease Treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010822081046.htm
University Of California - San Francisco. "Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Show Potential As Heart Disease Treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010822081046.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins