Low-dose B vitamins supplementation ameliorates cardiovascular risk: a double-blind randomized controlled trial in healthy Chinese elderly
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- Wang, L., Li, H., Zhou, Y. et al. Eur J Nutr (2015) 54: 455. doi:10.1007/s00394-014-0729-5
We investigated whether daily supplementation with low-dose B vitamins in the healthy elderly population improves the Framingham risk score (FRS), a predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.
Between 2007 and 2012, a double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in a rural area of North China. In all, 390 healthy participants aged 60–74 were randomly allocated to receive daily vitamin C (50 mg; control group) or vitamin C plus B vitamins (400 µg folic acid, 2 mg B6, and 10 µg B12; treatment group) for 12 months. FRSs were calculated for all 390 subjects.
Folate and vitamin B12 plasma concentrations in the treatment group increased by 253 and 80 %, respectively, after 6 months, stopped increasing with continued supplementation after 12 months and returned to baseline levels 6 months after supplementation cessation. Compared with the control group, there was no significant effect of B vitamin supplementation on FRSs after 6 months (mean difference −0.38; 95 % CI −1.06, 0.31; p = 0.279), whereas a significant effect of supplementation was evident after 12 months (reduced magnitude 7.6 %; −0.77; 95 % CI −1.47, −0.06; p = 0.033). However, this reduction disappeared 6 months after supplementation stopped (−0.07; 95 % CI −0.80, 0.66; p = 0.855). The reduction in FRS 12 months after supplementation was more pronounced in individuals with a folate deficiency (10.4 %; −1.30; 95 % CI −2.54, −0.07; p = 0.039) than in those without (4.1 %; −0.38; 95 % CI −1.12, 0.36; p = 0.313). B vitamins increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 3.4 % after 6 months (0.04; 95 % CI −0.02, 0.10; p = 0.155) and by 9.2 % after 12 months (0.11; 95 % CI 0.04, 0.18; p = 0.003). Compared with the control group, this change in magnitude decreased to 3.3 % (0.04; 95 % CI −0.02, 0.10; p = 0.194) 6 months after supplementation cessation.
Daily supplementation with a low-dose of B vitamins for 12 months reduced FRS, particularly in healthy elderly subjects with a folate deficiency. These reduced effects declined after supplementation cessation, indicating a need for persistent supplementation to maintain the associated benefits.
KeywordsB vitaminsCardiovascular disease riskFramingham risk scorePrevention
Framingham risk score
Recommended dietary allowance