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Experts reaffirm that B vitamins may lower heart risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

For individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results and have other cardiovascular risk factors, B vitamin supplements were once prescribed to lower their risk. This therapy has fallen out of favor in recent years, but a pair of researchers is now saying it may still have value.

B vitamins are known to improve homocysteine test scores. Higher levels of this amino acid are associated with increased heart attack and stroke risk. However, several recent studies have shown that lowering homocysteine does not necessarily translate to a reduced cardiovascular risk.

However, the researchers say that this may be due to the fact that the studies included some of the wrong patients. Investigator David Spence recently conducted a study that demonstrated how B vitamins can actually be harmful to patients with renal failure. Some of these individuals may have been included in studies examining the benefits of B vitamin supplementation in general populations.

It may be the case that B vitamins cause harm to a specific subset of individuals but are still beneficial to those without kidney problems. Conducting further investigations that exclude patients with renal failure could help assess the true benefit of B vitamin supplementation in individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results and are at risk for heart attack or stroke.

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