In this study, a research team from England finds evidence that a raised homocysteine concentration is a cause of cardiovascular disease; homocysteine can be lowered by folic acid.
The team analyzed over 100 studies on the association between serum homocysteine and cardiovascular disease.
|Folic acid could reduce the risk of ischaemic heart disease by 16%, deep vein thrombosis by 25%, and stroke by 24%.|
|British Medical Journal|
In some of the studies analyzed, the prevalence of a genetic mutation that increases homocysteine was examined, and in others, homocysteine and disease risk.
The various studies did not share the same potential sources of error, however, they yielded similar results, providing strong evidence that the association between homocysteine and cardiovascular disease is causal.
Using these data, the research team estimated that folic acid could reduce the risk of ischaemic heart disease by 16%, deep vein thrombosis by 25%, and stroke by 24%.
Dr David Wald's team conclude, "Folic acid supplements could be taken people at high risk (those with existing cardiovascular disease or anyone above age 55), or…supplied to the general public through food fortification".
"Folic acid food fortification has already been introduced in America to prevent the birth defect spina bifida".
"This research shows that such fortification will also help prevent heart attacks and strokes".