New Zealand researchers say that folic acid supplements and fortified breakfast cereals appear to reduce cardiac disease risk more effectively than any change in diet. These act to reduce the blood's homocysteine levels, which are risk factors for cardiac and other vascular disorders.
In their study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dr. Jim Mann and his team at the University of Otago compared various ways to boost folate consumption. They concluded that folic-acid-fortified cereals and increased consumption of folate-rich foods could cut the risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent.
Mann noted that the folate-fortified cereal may be so effective because as little as half of naturally occurring folate is available from a healthy diet.