June 28, 2010

If You’re Still Taking Folic Acid For Your Heart, You Can Stop Now!

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:25 am by keepyourhearthealthy

When I first started learning the ropes in treating cardiac patients, some of my colleagues were still recommending that patients take Folic Acid supplements for heart health.   I never quite got into the routine myself because the popular supplement gradually grew out of favor with many cardiologists.  There were still some strong hold-outs for Folic Acid but a new study has pretty much squashed the old theory that it lowers heart attack risk.

A review of over 12,000 patients with a previous heart attack showed that taking Folic Acid did not change the frequency of repeat heart attacks.  The results were recently published in JAMA and a highly opinionated article was written about it in Newsweek (http://www.newsweek-interactive.com/2010/06/22/observe-and-report.html?from=rss).  Apparently the old school of thought was that elevated levels of homocysteine led to increased heart disease.  Since Folic Acid reduces homocysteine, it seemed logical that Folic Acid would prevent heart attacks.  Now that this theory has been disproven, heart attack survivors can save their money for the necessary heart pills like an aspirin, a statin, a beta-blocker and niacin.

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