B Vitamins and Antioxidants Intake is Negatively Correlated with Risk of Stroke in Iran

Mitra Hariri, Zahra Maghsoudi, Leila Darvishi, Gholamreza Askari, Maryam Hajishafiee, Shekoofe Ghasemi, Fariborz Khorvash, Bijan Iraj, Reza Ghiasvand


Background: Stroke is a leading cause of death in developed countries. However, current therapeutic strategies for stroke have been largely unsuccessful. Several studies have reported important benefits on reducing the risk of stroke and improving the post‑stroke‑associated functional declines in patients who ate foods rich in micronutrients, including B vitamins. Folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 are all cofactors in homocysteine metabolism. Growing interest has been paid to hyperhomocyste inemia as a risk factor for stroke. Experimental studies suggest that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of ischemic cerebral injury, and higher intake of antioxidants has been associated with a lower risk of stroke in large population studies. The aim of this study was to examine whether the dietary intake of B vitamins and antioxidants in patients with stroke were comparatively worse than those in patients without stroke.

Methods: In this case control study, 69 stroke patients (46 male, age = 56 ± 18 years and 23 female, age = 52 ± 7 years) admitted to Azzahra hospital between April 2009 and May 2010 were matched for age and sex with 60 patients (30 male and 30 female) from the same hospital who were not affected with acute cerebrovascular diseases and did not have a history of stroke. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated self‑administered food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). FFQ was collected conducting face‑to‑face interview with one of the patients’ close relatives. Food intakes, translated into nutrient data, were compared between the two groups and with the recommended values.

Results: Intake of folic acid in men with stroke and vitamin B12 in women with stroke was significantly lower than that in the patients without stroke (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference between the two groups in the level of antioxidant consumption in women and men (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that increased folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin E, C intake may be associated with decreased risk of stroke.

Keywords: Dietary quality, folic acid, stroke, vitamin B6, vitamin B12

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