Folic Acid linked to lower stroke risk among individuals with high blood pressure

Folic Acid linked to lower stroke risk among individuals with high blood pressur

Folic acid could lower the risk of stroke among individuals with high blood pressure. The study conducted in China on 20,000 adults suffering from high blood pressure, has found lower risk among individuals who were given folic acid supplements.

Earlier studies conducted in the United States have found no link between folic acid and stroke risk. The study (China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial) conducted by Chinese researchers contradicts those findings. However, medical experts suggest that the results in the U. S. study were different as most of the grains available in the U. S. market are fortified with folic acid. The research team noticed that people in many countries including China, Bangladesh, India and Scandinavia have low level of folate in their diet.

The positive impact of folic acid, or folate has been analyzed in many studies in the past. For the current study, the participants were given 10 milligrams of enalapril in the control group, or with 0.8 mg of folic acid and enalapril in the intervention group.

The study team monitored the subjects for 4.5 years between 2008 and 2013. The study subjects were having median age of 60. The research team found considerably lower risk of stroke and heart attack among individuals given folic acid.

Lead researcher for the current study, Yong Huo, MD, at the Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, said, "This finding is consistent with a benefit from folate use among adults with hypertension and low baseline folate levels. Inadequate folate intake is prevalent in most countries without mandatory folic acid fortification, including in Asia and other countries."

Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, dried legumes like chickpeas and lentils can be counted among good sources of folic acid. In Canada and United States, folic acid is added to all white flour, enriched pasta and cornmeal products.

Medical experts suggest people to have a balanced with adequate amount of various vitamins and minerals required for staying healthy. Detailed results of the Chinese study have been published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.