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Supplemental folic acid lowers LDL, homocysteine in type 2 diabetics

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

August 7 2017. A trial reported in the August 2017 issue of Nutrition Research and Practice resulted in improvement in homocysteine and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, as well as other factors in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. Having a high level of homocysteine, a toxic byproduct of metabolism, is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetic patients.

“Folic acid supplementation may improve the cardiovascular health of postmenopausal women with diabetes,” authors Aswathy Vijayakumar of Ewha Woman’s University and colleagues remark in their introduction. “In particular, folic acid supplementation has been shown to reduce homocysteine levels and improve vascular health in different study populations.”

The trial included 25 diabetic Korean women between the ages of 56 to 74 years with serum homocysteine levels of at least 10 micromoles per liter. The women received 400 micrograms folic acid twice per day for 8 weeks. Brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (a measure of arterial stiffness) was assessed, and blood samples were analyzed for serum folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine, as well as lipids and fasting blood glucose before and after the treatment period.

At the study’s conclusion, the participants’ serum folate and vitamin B12 were significantly increased and homocysteine levels decreased on average by 22.2%. The number of subjects whose homocysteine levels were 15 micromoles per liter or higher declined from 9 to 3 following supplementation. In addition, LDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol/high density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratios were significantly lower after 8 weeks. Higher vitamin B12 levels at the end of the study were associated with lower pulse wave velocity.

“In conclusion, folic acid supplementation might be beneficial for reducing homocysteine levels and decreasing lipid parameters in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” the authors conclude.

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