A group of scientists from the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka University have reported that high amounts of folate and vitamin B6 in the diet may reduce the risk of stroke in women and of heart failure in men. The study can be found online in the journal Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Men and women between 40 and 79 years of age filled out questionnaires and were followed for an average of 14 years.
"The researchers compared the participants’ intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 and found that female participants who had the highest intake of folate and vitamin B6 also had a significantly decreased risk of death from stroke, heart disease, and any cardiovascular cause."
It is thought that homocysteine may be a factor in this lower risk. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood that has been linked with the occurence of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Folate and vitamin B6 assist in reducing high homocysteine levels.