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Vitamin B Supplements Do Not Reduce Risk Of Second Stroke

August 4, 2010: 11:33 AM EST
Though they are safe and do lower homocysteine levels, vitamin B supplements don’t prevent subsequent strokes, heart attacks, or vascular deaths in stroke patients, a clinical trial has found. Earlier studies have suggested a possible link between higher levels of the blood amino acid homocysteine and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Vitamin B does in fact lower homocysteine levels. The placebo-controlled trial followed 8,164 recent stroke patients in 20 countries over a median of 3.4 years. The vitamin B group did have lower homocysteine levels, but also about the same risk (15%) of suffering a second stroke or heart attack as the placebo group (17%). “These results do not support the use of B vitamins to prevent recurrent stroke,” the researchers concluded.
The VITATOPS Trial Study Group, "B vitamins in patients with recent transient ischaemic attack or stroke in the VITAmins TO Prevent Stroke", The Lancet Neurology, August 04, 2010, © Medscape, LLC
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