New study reveals vitamin B may cut stroke risk


Are you getting enough B vitamins in your diet? A new Chinese study suggests taking Vitamin B supplements may help reduce the risk of stroke in some people.

Julia Zumpano did not take part in the study but is a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic.

"Eating it is always the best, but a supplement is not a bad idea as kind of a backup or a buffer to make sure you're getting everything in," said Zumpano.

University of Zhengzou researchers analyzed 14 studies on vitamin B supplements involving nearly 55, 000 people.  They found vitamin B supplements lowered the risk of stroke by seven percent overall, but did not appear to affect the severity of strokes or the risk of death from stroke.

They also found folic acid, often found in fortified cereals, appears to reduce the effect of vitamin B, but more studies are needed.

Researchers say any number of factors can affect the effectiveness of vitamin-B supplementation, so talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

Zumpano strongly agrees and says you should make the effort to get all of the B vitamins you need from food.

"So, they're found in protein, so fish and poultry, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and some red meats as well. And then plant sources come from leafy greens and peas," explained Zumpano.

This study was published today in the journal Neurology.