B-group vitamin supplementation mitigates oxidative damage after acute ischaemic stroke
This study assessed the effects of supplementary B-group vitamins after stroke. 48 patients with stroke received daily oral supplements of B-group vitamins comprising folate, vitamin B2, B6, B12 or no supplements for 14 days. The researchers concluded that B-group vitamin supplementation immediately after an infarct has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in stroke disease. Further details can be found in the study.
As in coronary artery disease, the underlying disease process for cerebrovascular disease –the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the brain – is arteriosclerosis. Here too, the process starts with a weakening of the blood vessel walls, most frequently caused by an insufficient dietary intake of vitamins and other micronutrients. This leads to an underproduction of collagen and other reinforcement molecules in the artery walls and to the initiation of a repair process to compensate for the growing instability of these walls. The arteriosclerotic plaques that – with time – narrow the blood flow in the neck (carotid) arteries or brain (cerebral) arteries is essentially an overshooting repair process for the vitamin-deficient artery wall. A stroke occurs when the already narrowed arteries are clogged and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to billions of brain cells is interrupted, causing permanent damage.
Ullegaddi R, Powers HJ, Gariballa SE. B-group vitamin supplementation mitigates oxidative damage after acute ischaemic stroke. Clin Sci (Lond). 2004 Nov;107(5):477-84.