Folate and vitamin B6 may help lower heart disease risk in diabetes

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Scientists from The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University and elsewhere found that intake of folate and vitamin B6 is linked to a lower risk of heart disease in diabetes.

B vitamins help a variety of enzymes do their jobs, ranging from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to breaking down amino acids and transporting oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body.

Emerging evidence suggests that dietary intake of B vitamins is linked to the reduced risk of heart disease in the general population.

However, only a few studies have tested their associations in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the current study, researchers aimed to assess the links between the intake of three B vitamins (folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12) and heart disease risk in Chinese adults with type 2 diabetes.

They conducted a hospital-based case-control study of 419 people with type 2 diabetes and newly diagnosed heart disease and 419 people only with type 2 diabetes.

The team used a food questionnaire to measure dietary B-vitamin intake in these participants.

They found that compared with people with the lowest intake, people with the highest intake of folate and vitamin B6 had lower risks of heart disease.

But such an effect was not found for the intake of vitamin B12.

The team also found consistent associations were found for folate intake from eggs, vegetables, fruits, soy, and other foods but not for folate intake from grains.

Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that the high intake of folate and vitamin B6, but not that of vitamin B12, might be associated with the low risk of heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

This study suggests that dietary folate and vitamin B6 protect against heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The research was published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism and conducted by Shangling Wu et al.

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