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B- Vitamin Supplementation Proven To Be Of Value In Post Angioplasty Patients

 James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP

According to a report in the November 29, 2001 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, patients who underwent angioplasty – a balloon-tipped catheter, which pushes aside fatty deposits in coronary arteries to improve blood flow – were less likely to see their arteries narrow within 6 months if they took a combination of folic acid, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxamine). This study included 205 post-angioplasty patients who received either a combination of 1 mg (1000 mcg) of folic acid, 400 mcg of Vitamin B12 and 10 mg of Vitamin B6 or a placebo, for a duration of six months.

The results showed that restenosis occurred in less than 20% of the vitamin therapy patients compared with nearly 38% of patients who took the placebo. Patients who followed the vitamin regimen also had fewer cardiac events, including heart attacks, in the months following the angioplasty procedure. Folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 work synergistically to prevent the excess build up of homocysteine from occurring. These B-vitamins act as cofactors in important enzyme reactions that convert homocysteine into methionine or into cystathionine. In a state of sub-optimal nutritional status of any of these B-vitamins, homocysteine can more readily accumulate within body cells. Once reaching a critical threshold level, homocysteine diffuses out of cells to enter the bloodstream. In the blood stream, homocysteine has been shown to oxidize LDL-cholesterol, promote vasoconstriction of arteries, as well as increasing platelet aggregation, all of which increase the risk of heart disease and ischemic stroke. Many studies indicate that high blood levels of homocysteine increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, and that as much as 10% of the risk of heart disease is attributable to blood homocysteine levels. (For more details and references on this subject, visit As such, Folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 are emerging as important anti-heart disease nutrients in the fight against America’s number one killer.


Schnyder G et al, N Engl J Med. Nov. 2001


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