Getting more folate lowers the risk of stroke

May 7, 2002 in Heart Health, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Getting more folate lowers the risk of stroke

People who get enough folate in their diets seem to have a lower risk of stroke than those who eat fewer folate-rich foods, according to research findings from Tulane University in New Orleans. The results are based on nutritional surveys of almost 10,000 adults conducted between 1971 and 1975 as part of a nationwide government health survey.

In the study, people who report consuming the most dietary folate were 21% less likely to suffer stroke than people who ate the least amount of dietary folate.

Folate is a B vitamin that can reduce levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels may increase a person's risk of having a stroke. An excess of this amino acid is thought to damage the walls of the arteries that lead to the brain.

The best sources of folate include spinach, lentils, orange juice, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, asparagus, artichoke, avocado, and seeds.

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