12 January - 20 June 2016

Vitamin B may reduce the risk of stroke

25 Sept 13

A study conducted by researchers at China’s Zhengzhou University and published in the journal Neurology has suggested that taking vitamin B supplements may help reduce the risk of stroke. Strokes are a leading cause of disability. The numerous risk factors include high blood pressure or high cholesterol and also the lesser known effect of a high level of homocysteine in your blood.  Past studies have shown vitamin B to reduce homocysteine levels, although effects on the risk of stoke appeared conflicting.  Xu et al. conducted a meta-analysis of 14 randomised trials, including nearly 55,000 participants.  Each trial used vitamin B supplementation and a placebo or low dose B vitamin, taken by the participants over a minimum of 24 months.  Overall, around 43 in 1,000 people in the vitamin B group had a stroke, compared with about 47 in 1,000 people in the other groups; the risk of stroke was 7% lower. However, should a stroke happen, there appeared to be no corresponding effect on severity or risk of death.  Furthermore, when specific groups of people were examined, it appeared that taking vitamin B supplements helped some, but not others e.g. people taking a vitamin B supplement for 3 years had a lower risk, but those taking for shorter periods showed no effect. Further research is required to explore other possible influencing factors before recommending as an official treatment.  Other more well known approaches such as stopping smoking, a healthy diet, losing weight and regular exercise can still help. 

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability.  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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