Folic Acid May Lower Homocysteine Levels, Improve Arterial Flow
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia--In the September Journal of the American College of Cardiology (36:758-765, 2000), researchers found that not only does folic acid improve homocysteine levels, but may also improve blood flow. The four-month study focused on 75 patients with coronary artery disease and slightly elevated levels of homocysteine. They were then divided into three groups: one group took folic acid, another took folic acid along with vitamins C and E, and the third took placebo.
It was found that patients who took folic acid alone experienced an 11-percent decrease in homocysteine levels (and a nine-percent decrease in the antioxidant group) compared to the placebo group. It also appeared that folic acid expanded brachial arteries [found in the arm] by two percent in the folic acid group [with an insignificant difference noted in the vitamin-supplemented group]. Further clinical trials are recommended to determine if folic acid supplementation may reduce cardiovascular disease. For a copy of the abstract, visit PubMed at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, using "folic acid" as the keyword search.