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Vitamin B6 and Heart Disease

vitamin-b6In 1995, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation performed a study involving a team of cardiologists as well as biologists. The study showed us that people who have low levels of vitamin B6 have an increased chance for developing heart disease.Recently, there have been many more studies on this topic as well. These studies have shown us that high levels of homocysteine are associated with coronary artery disease. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood and this increased level can cause heart attacks as well as strokes. Researchers believe that this link between homocysteine and vitamin B6 may even be more profound than the link found between folic acid and homocysteine.In the study, 304 patients that were being treated for coronary artery disease were used. The study concluded that those people who are deficient in vitamin B6 have just as much a risk in developing the disease as those people who smoke and have high cholesterol.Many people do not even know if they are deficient in vitamin B6. This is because even a daily multivitamin supplement may not be sufficient to overcome this deficiency. Vitamin B6 supplements should be used on a doctor’s recommendation only, as overdose on vitamin B6 is possible. A deficiency in vitamin B12 and folic acid does not seem to be a deficiency as serious as the vitamin B6 deficiency in regards to homocysteine levels and heart disease.The Cleveland Clinic study also determined that women and elderly people should be more concerned about the homocysteine levels and their intake of vitamin B6. Prior studies have generally only focused on the association between homocysteine and heart disease in young men.This study has shown the medical community that they need to be more concerned about vitamin deficiency when preventing heart disease. It is important to look at cholesterol and blood pressure, but homocysteine and vitamin deficiencies are also important to look at.

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