Vitamin B and folic acid deficiency increases risk of arteriosclerosis

Low circulating folate and vitamin B6 concentrations: risk factors for stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease. European COMAC Group.

The present study was carried out in several European countries as part of a multicenter study. Its aim was to evaluate whether homocysteine and vitamin B levels in the blood affect the risk of arteriosclerosis. The study included 750 patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease and 800 control subjects. It turned out that high levels of the risk factor homocysteine were related to a higher risk of vascular diseases. Increased levels of homocysteine were partially attributed to low vitamin B and folic acid levels. The authors concluded that a lack of folic acid and vitamin B increases the risk of arteriosclerosis. Further details can be found in the study.
The underlying disease process of coronary artery disease (CAD) is called arteriosclerosis. This 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 the wall. The arteriosclerotic plaques that – with time – narrow the blood flow in the coronary arteries is essentially an overshooting repair process for the vitamin-deficient coronary artery wall. A heart attack occurs when the already narrowed artery is clogged and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to billions of heart muscle cells is interrupted. Angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is the typical alarm signal for an increased risk of heart attack. Angina pectoris typically manifests as a sharp pain in the middle of the chest, which frequently radiates into the left arm, but can also manifest itself in other (untypical) symptoms.
Robinson K, Arheart K, Refsum H, Brattström L, Boers G, Ueland P, Rubba P, Palma-Reis R, Meleady R, Daly L, Witteman J, Graham I. Low circulating folate and vitamin B6 concentrations: risk factors for stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease. European COMAC Group. Circulation. 1998 Feb 10;97(5):437-43.



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