Folic acid, best known for preventing birth defects in unborn children has now been linked to lowering the risk of stroke.
After analyzing data from eight randomized controlled studies, researchers from the Children's Memorial Research Center in the US concluded that people can cut their risk of stroke by a fifth by increasing their intake of folic acid.
The meta-analysis showed that people who regularly took a folic acid supplement reduced their risk of stroke by 18 percent. If supplementation lasted more than 36 months, the risk decreased by 30 percent.
These latest findings published in The Lancet call for more research to examine the full relationship between folic acid and stroke risk.
Since 1998, there has been a mandatory fortification of folic acid in Canada and the US, since then the rate of neural-tube pregnancies has dropped by 26 percent. Foods that are currently fortified include grain products such as cereal, pasta, bread and rice.
Rich sources of folic acid include lentils, collard greens, chickpeas, eggs and liver.
Visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation website here.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.