Folate, B6 boosts heart health for type 1 diabetics

July 19, 2006 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Folate, B6 boosts heart health for type 1 diabetics

Australian and New Zealand researchers have found that folate and vitamin B6 supplements could benefit the cardiovascular health of children with type 1 diabetes.

These are the first findings to suggest a benefit of folate and B6 supplements. Diabetics are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

To examine the effects of the supplements, researchers divided the 122 children into four groups for the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. One group received folate, one group received vitamin B6, one group received both folate and B6, while the last group received a placebo.

Researchers used a high-resolution ultra sound to measure flow-mediated dilation (FMD) at baseline, at two and four hours after the first dose, and after four and eight weeks of supplementation. FMD measures changes in the diameter of blood vessels that are associated with increased blood flow.

After eight weeks, the researchers found that FMD was significantly increased in all three intervention groups. Folate supplementation only led to an increase in FMD of about seven per cent, while vitamin B6 led to an increase of almost five per cent. No significant differences were observed for the placebo groups.

Despite the encouraging findings, more randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are required to confirm or refute these effects.

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