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Folic Acid And Heart Disease Treatment Link

Media release
9 April 2001

PRESENTATION SUPPORTS FOLIC ACID AND HEART DISEASE TREATMENT LINK


A presentation at the recent Medicine in the New Millennium International Medical Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, has again linked low levels of folic acid in the blood to a range of cardiovascular disease conditions.

Folic acid is a B vitamin, essential in the division of all body cells along with the production of DNA and RNA. Folic acid keeps blood vessels healthy by, among other things, reducing potentially harmful levels of a substance known as homocysteine.

Homocysteine is an amino acid found in all humans. Abnormal levels of total homocysteine (tHcy) in the blood allows cholesterol to build up. This process, in turn, blocks the flow of blood through the body potentially resulting in heart disease, attacks or strokes.

Norway¡¦s Dr Ottar Nygard, an authority on clinical and epidemiological aspects of homocysteine as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, says taking folic acid supplements could have major benefits.

¡§Since the initial connection was made 25 years ago, the results from more than 100 studies have provided consistent and convincing evidence that elevated tHcy levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

¡§Another study among 40-year-old men shows that men from countries with a high cardiovascular disease mortality also have the highest tHcy levels,¡¨ he said.

According to Dr Nygard, elevated tHcy levels are prevalent in Western societies.

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¡§The condition is often related to folate deficiency. This explains why many respond to taking folic acid with the average decrease in tHcy being about 25%. Certain lifestyle factors are associated with elevated tHcy¡Xparticularly smoking in women and coffee consumption in both men and women,¡¨ he said.

Natural folic acid is present in a number of foods including brocolli, spinach and egg yolks. Dietary intake alone may not provide sufficient folic acid to keep homocysteine levels low, however.

Modern lifestyles mean people no longer have balanced diets. Supplements like TMG Folic may therefore assist the body in its processes.

ends

Information Sources:
„h Homocysteine and Coronary Artery Disease¡XHow long do we have to wait? (Dr Ottar Nygard
„h American Society for Clinical Nutrition 2000Medline
„h Clinical Trial Journal Article, USA, Jun 2000
„h Pharmacy Information Kiosk, April 2000
„h Australian Doctor, Feb 2000
„h BASF New Zealand, March 2000
„h American Heart Association

Media Contacts:

Warren Smith Penelope Barr
Douglas Pharmaceuticals WRC
Tel: 09 835 0660 Tel: 09 306 1804
Fax: 09 835 0665 Fax: 09 302 7169
Email: warrenw@douglas.co.nz Email: peneb@wrc.co.nz

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