A diet enriched with folate and B-vitamins may provide protection from heart disease

October 23, 1999

It has long been appreciated that patients with high concentrations of homocysteine (an amino acid) in their blood are at much higher risk for stroke and heart disease, despite their young age. Among approaches being developed to reduce cardiovascular risk has been supplementation with folate, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6, which in combination are known to lower homocysteine levels. Alan Chait and workers at 10 medical research centers in the U.S. and Canada found that adequate intake of these nutrients in prescribed diets can effectively decrease homocysteine concentrations in persons with attendant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Elevated homocysteine concentrations can result from either genetic disorders or vitamin deficiencies. A wide variety of determinants such as gender, age, obesity and alcohol consumption can come into play in placing an individual into a "cardiovascular high risk" category; however, the 491 subjects in this study all had been treated for hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or a combination of the three. They were randomly assigned to either a "self-selected diet" following American Dietetic Association guidelines, or a "prescription diet" fortified by the researchers to provide greater than or equal to 100% of the RDA for 23 micronutrients including folate. Those who self-selected their diet showed no change in their homocysteine levels in the course of the study, whereas the prescription diet group showed significant reduction in homocysteine concentrations.

The richest sources of folate in the American diet are: enriched breakfast cereal, hard boiled eggs, asparagus and green peas. Foods richest in B6 include enriched breakfast cereal, baked potato with skin, and bananas. Sources of B12 are milk, enriched breakfast cereal, fish and meat.
-end-
Chait, A et al. Increased dietary micronutrients decrease serum homocysteine concentrations in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Am J. Clin Nutr 1999.

Corresponding Author: Dr. Alan Chait
University of Washington
achait@uwashington.edu

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.