By TAP Integrative

Stroke affects nearly 800,000 people in the United States each year. Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death among adults in the United States. According to the National Stroke Association, up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. One area researchers are investigating for prevention effects is reducing homocysteine—an amino acid that, when elevated, is linked to cardiovascular disease and increased stroke risk. B vitamins can be used to lower homocysteine levels, and, therefore, potentially reduce risk of stroke.

A 2015 paper published in the journal PLoS One sought to clarify which combination of B vitamins is optimal for stroke prevention. By performing a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of B vitamin supplementation, the researchers assessed the impact of different B vitamin combinations on stroke prevention. The analysis included 17 trials, with a total of 86,393 patients, comparing seven treatment strategies and placebo.

These researchers found that supplementing with B vitamins is indeed associated with reduced risk of stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. They ranked the B vitamins and their combinations in order of efficacy and determined that folic acid plus vitamin B6 may be the best combination for stroke prevention. The vitamins’ impact on stroke prevention from highest to lowest efficacy was: folic acid plus vitamin B6, folic acid, folic acid plus vitamin B6 plus vitamin B12, vitamin B6 plus vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B6, placebo, and finally folic acid plus vitamin B12. The paper did not comment on the most effective dosages.

Given the devastating and wide-reaching effects of stroke, as well as the relative safety of folic acid and vitamin B6, this therapy may be worthwhile for anyone at stroke risk.



Dong H, Pi F, Ding Z, et al. Efficacy of supplementation with B vitamins for stroke prevention: a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(9):e0137533.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.