Folic Acid Supplementation Reduced Stroke in Hypertensive Patients- Why Everyone Probably Should Supplement Methyl-Folate +/- Folinic Acid
Any time you can improve your health outcomes by eating right or taking a nutrient that you are deficient in seems like a no-brainer to me. This study, “Folate Supplements for Stroke Prevention,” JAMA March 2015 randomized over 20,000 patients with hypertension to analapril alone or analapril plus 0.8 mg folate. You can read the study here…
The study was terminated early (after 4.5 years) due to the significant reduction in strokes found in the group taking folate; 2.7% vs 3.4% in the group not taking folate.
Authors speculate that the MTHFR defect individuals would benefit the most as they are the ones who have difficulty processing folate to methyl-folate. I would agree and I suspect they would have had more significant improvements in the folate group had they supplemented with methyl-folate +/- folinic acid.
Here in the USA, we have 30-40% of the population with the MTHFR defect. Because many cereals are fortified with folate, those who eat that processed stuff (I don’t recommend it) would at least not be severely deficient in folate. The preferred road to health, would be to eat lots of whole foods, including plenty of green leafy vegetables and take a methyl-folate +/- folinic acid supplement.
I have found an adult (ok for teenagers too) multivitamin made by Dr Ben Lynch (world leader on MTHFR) with both methyl-folate and folinic acid along with just about everything you might need to support your nutrient status. I now carry this in my office. There are several options for supporting yourself or your child with methyl-folate.
As the authors of this article point out, “it is likely that the results would apply to normotensive persons”, such that we all can benefit from supplementing with folate. Just remember to at least look for the methyl-folate version of this B vitamin.