B-vitamins cut stroke risk

Amid all the talk of cholesterol (and all the misplaced emphasis on it), homocysteine often goes unnoticed. Yet homocysteine is a critical indicator for artery damage.

In the upcoming July issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, I talk about homocysteine and several other heart disease markers that get little attention in mainstream medical news.

So, I was pleased to see a new study, in the journal Clinical Nutrition, focusing on homocysteine, B-vitamin supplementation, and stroke risk. This was a huge project–a “meta-analysis” of 19 “gold standard” randomized controlled trials involving 47,921 people. And they found that lowering homocysteine with B-vitamin supplements reduced stroke risk by 12%.

I can’t stress it enough. There’s much more to artery health than cholesterol. This study on homocysteine emphasizes that. Your arteries feed your brain, your kidneys, your lungs, your liver…  And that system needs specific nutrients. B-vitamins like folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 are critical players.

  • You can get folate from food sources like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, peas and dried beans.
  • Vitamin B-12 is in dairy products, poultry, eggs and seafood.
  • Vitamin B-6 is in eggs, peanuts, mushrooms, and organ meats like liver.  Yes–eggs are on this list! As I’ve said many times before, eggs are great for your heart and arteries!

Eating more of these foods is an easy way to keep your arteries, your brain, and your overall circulatory system running smoothly. But it’s also a good idea to take a quality B-100 complex every day too. B-complex vitamins are readily available at your local drug store and even supermarket, and they’re inexpensive.

“Meta-analysis of B vitamin supplementation on plasma homocysteine, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.” Clin Nutr. Published online 5/29/12