Adults who fail to eat enough food containing vitamins B12, B6 and folie acid run an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, clogged arteries and coronary heart disease, according to a study by teams from Tufts University and the Framingham Heart Study. A conclusion of the three-year study of more than 1,000 participants between age 67 and 95 was that those who eat foods rich in vitamins B12, B6 and folie acid, for instance broccoli and spinach, are in better cardiovascular shape than those who do not.
These vitamins help regulate the levels of homocysteine in the blood, said Jacob Selhub, professor of nutrition and director of the Vitamin Bioavailablity Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid, plays an important role in the body's metabolism and is harmless when it is kept at normal levels in the body. At high levels, homocysteine turns toxic.
Those who fail to eat the Recommended Daily Allowance levels of vitamins B12, B6 and folie acid are missing out on an important ally in keeping homocysteine levels in check, which could lead to health risks. Selhub recommends eating uncooked, green vegetables. Vitamin supplements also might be meet vitamin level needs.
The study was published in a February 1995 issue of New England Journal of Medicine by teams from Tufts University.