aan22A new study indicates that vitamin B supplements may play a role in reducing the risk of stroke. During the study, which appears in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers reportedly assessed 14 randomized clinical trials with a total of 54,913 participants.

A news release from the American Academy of Neurology reports that all of the studies compared B vitamin use with a placebo or a very low-dose B vitamin. The results suggest that 2,471 strokes occurred throughout the studies, all of which exhibited some benefit of taking vitamin B, researchers say.

The researchers add that vitamin B lowered the risk of stroke in the studies by 7% overall. Yet, taking supplements did not appear to impact the severity of strokes nor risk of death from stroke, the study reports.

The release notes that folic acid appeared to reduce the effect of vitamin B. The researchers state they did not see a reduction in stroke risk for vitamin B12.

While prior research has presented conflicting results regarding the use of vitamin B supplements and stroke or heart attack, study author Xu Yuming, MD, PhD, Zhengzhou University in Zhenzhou, China, says, “Based on our results, the ability of vitamin B to reduce stroke risk may be influenced by a number of other factors such as the body’s absorption rate, the amount of folic acid or vitamin B12 concentration in the blood and whether a patient has kidney disease or high blood pressure.”

Yuming also recommends patients always consult with their doctor prior to beginning to take supplements.

Source: American Academy of Neurology