Scientists from Zhengzhou University and elsewhere found that higher dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 are strongly linked to lower death risks in adults.
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, water-soluble, and naturally found in many foods. It is also added to foods and sold as a supplement in the form of folic acid.
Folate helps to form DNA and RNA and is involved in protein metabolism. Folate is also needed to produce healthy red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods, as well as added to foods and supplements. It has been found to support immune function and brain health.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication.
Vitamin B12 is required for the development, myelination, and function of the central nervous system and healthy red blood cell formation.
The scientific evidence about the intake of dietary folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 in relation to death risk in the general population is limited.
In this study, researchers aimed to examine the link between dietary intakes of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 with all-cause and cause-specific death in a large group of adults in the US.
This study included a total of 55,569 adults from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) and NHANES 1999-2014.
The team found dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were linked to lower death risk from all-cause, heart disease, and cancer for men.
Dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were linked with death risks from all-cause and heart disease for women.
In men, participants with the highest versus lowest intake of folate and vitamin B6 had lower all-cause death, heart disease mortality, and cancer-related death.
Among women, participants with the highest versus lowest intake had lower all-cause mortality and heart disease mortality.
The team found no strong associations between dietary vitamin B12 and death risks.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that higher dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 are strongly linked to lower all-cause and heart disease death risks.
These findings suggest that increasing the intake of folate and vitamin B6 may help U.S. adults live longer.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Yacong Bo et al.
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