The use of B vitamin supplements and peripheral arterial disease risk in men are inversely related
This study investigated the relationship between vitamin B intake and peripheral artery disease (PAD), i.e. atherosclerosis-related circulatory disorders of the legs. 46,036 men were observed over a period of 12 years.The results indicate that folic acid (vitamin B9) has an especially preventive effect on circulatory disorders. For each additional intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid, the risk of leg atherosclerosis was reduced by 21%. Furthermore, protective effects were also found for vitamins B6 and B12. However, these were not as distinctive as the effect of folic acid. For further details, please refer to the study.
Peripheral vascular diseases (PVD) are obstructions of the blood flow in peripheral blood vessels, most commonly the legs or arms. Since this disease almost exclusively develops in arteries, not in veins, it is also called peripheral arterial disease (PAD). As in coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, the underlying disease process is arteriosclerosis. The disease process starts with a weakening of the blood vessel walls, most frequently caused by an insufficient dietary intake of 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 eventually narrow the blood flow in the legs, arms or other peripheral body parts can lead to severe tissue damage and – if untreated – to tissue death (gangrene) and amputation.
Merchant AT, Hu FB, Spiegelman D, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Ascherio A. The use of B vitamin supplements and peripheral arterial disease risk in men are inversely related. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2863-7.