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B Vitamins Reduce
Heart Disease in Women

A 14 year study shows that two B Vitamins may improve the health of the female heart.
According to researchers at Harvard University a high intake of Folic Acid and Vitamin B6 can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in women by up to 45 percent.

Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., and colleagues assessed the diet and health of more than 80,000 nurses. They found that 95 percent of the women who had the highest intakes of Folic Acid (an average of 696 mcg per day) and B6 (4.6 mg per day) had a significantly reduced incidence of heart disease.

It should be noted that the current RDAs - 180 mcg/day of folate and 1.6 mg/day of B6 for non-pregnant women are both well below the beneficial intakes cited in the study.
The study noted fortified foods may increase Folic Acid intakes by only 100 mcg per day and that even after fortification, 75 percent of women will still have inadequate intakes.
Researchers also noted that food and supplements are equally good sources of folate and B6, but supplements may be the only way women can get helpful amounts of each. 


Source - JAMA, 279: 5, Feb. 4, 1998