Battling Heart Disease: The Folate Factor
Many fruit juice containers eagerly proclaim the product within to be an excellent source of folate, essential to battling heart disease. Believe it, scientists say.
Greek researchers told the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Vienna that the B vitamin common in green vegetables and fruit appears to play a major role in helping stave off heart disease.
Their study in Northern Greece indicates that individuals who have low levels of folic acid were at more risk for developing heart disease than those with high levels. Examined were people of general normal health, individuals who had suffered a heart attack and those with controlled coronary disease.
Researchers looked at the difference in blood levels of cholesterol and vitamins in the three groups. Surprisingly, they found "blood cholesterol levels or the subfractions of cholesterol seem to have little association with the incidence of heart attack." But they said "low levels of folic acid were closely related to the occurrence of acute heart attacks."