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Vitamin B provides little help for stroke victims

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Stroke patients who have been taking vitamin B supplements to control their risk for further cardiovascular complications may want to consider seeking a cholesterol test to determine their heart condition. A new study has found that the nutrient does little to protect individuals from stroke or heart attack.

Previous studies have shown that vitamin B lowers blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been demonstrated to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Many doctors now instruct their patients to take nutritional supplements to control their risk.

However, researcher from the Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia found that supplements provide little help in lowering heart risk. In the trial, 8,164 stroke patients were given either vitamin B supplements or placebo. After the 3.4 year study, 15 percent of those taking active supplements suffered another stroke or heart attack compared to 17 percent in the placebo group, according to HealthDay News.

"B vitamins are safe, but they were not, statistically, significantly more effective than placebo in preventing major vascular events among stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack) patients," lead researcher Dr. Graeme J. Hankey, told the news source. "B vitamins have not been proven to have a role in secondary stroke prevention."

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