B vitamins support heart health, say cardiovascular disease experts, simply by regulating homocysteine, an amino acid that is linked with increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
So, by maintaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin B6 and folate, you significantly reduce your risk of dying prematurely of stroke or congestive heart failure.
According to the American Heart Association…
- Elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid known to contribute to heart disease symptoms, is called “hyperhomocysteinemia.”
- Having too much homocysteine in your blood increases your chances of developing “coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.”
- Homocysteine damages the inner linings of your arteries and causes blood clots.
- B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folate help your body break down homocysteine in your blood, keeping it at a healthy minimum.
- People with high vitamin B12 levels have the lowest concentration of homocysteine levels.
- People with a family history of heart disease should check their homocysteine levels routinely, in addition to including B vitamins in their diet, or at least supplementing with vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate.
Get your B Vitamins ASAP
- Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, and brewer’s yeast. However, if you lack intrinsic factor, or if you have had bariatric surgery, then your body is not able to digest vitamin B12 naturally from food. Your only course of action in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency is to supplement with Vitamin B12.
- Like B12, vitamin B6 sources also include protein foods, such as liver, fish, and other meats, in addition to fortified cereals.
- Folate is a B vitamin that occurs in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified cereals.