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Heart Disease, Homocysteine and Vitamins

Lowering homocysteine levels with certain vitamins can improve outcomes after a coronary angioplasty procedure. Angioplasty is a heart artery balloon procedure and one of the treatment options available for coronary artery disease. A Swiss research study entitled "decreased rate of coronary restenosis after lowering of plasma homocysteins levels," was published in the November 29, 2001 New England Journal of Medicine confirms this.

The vitamins used in the study were folic acid 1mg, vitamin B12 400 micrograms and pyroxidine 10mg. These vitamins have been shown to lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that may contribute to coronary artery disease when in high levels in the bloodstream. In addition, folic acid vitamin B12 and pyroxidine have numerous other health benefits.

The Swiss study only invoved patients with established coronary artery disease. This means that taking those vitamins and lowering homocysteine levels can be used for secondary prevention. This study did not address primary prevention (preventing disease in healthy patients). Folic acid 1mg, vitamin B12 400 micrograms and pyroxidine 10mg are a safe and inexpensive addition to most lifestyles. Most multivitamin / multimineral supplements contain these agents in varying amounts. Talk to your family physician about your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Make a health plan that includes diet, vitamins and exercise.

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