Friday, January 23, 2004

Folic Acid Reduces Risk of Stroke

During a 14-year-long study, men with the highest intake of folic acid were almost 30 percent less likely to develop an ischemic stroke -- caused by a blocked blood vessel - than men with the lowest folic acid intake.

Study author Dr. Ka He of Northwestern University in Illinois said that this is not the first report to demonstrate that folic acid can reduce the risk of stroke. All told, the results appear conclusive and consistent enough to suggest that men change their behavior to protect their health, He noted.

"I believe we should recommend men to increase their intake of folate to reduce stroke risk," He said.

He added that the recommended dietary allowance for folic acid in adults is 400 micrograms per day, which men can get from their diet or a supplement.

Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin that is naturally found in fruits and vegetables. Recently, the US government mandated that manufacturers fortify grain products with folic acid, adding it to flour, rice, pasta and cornmeal.

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