(HealthDay News) – Vitamin B supplements may help reduce the risk of stroke, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 18 in Neurology.

In an effort to assess the association between B vitamin supplementation and stroke events, Yan Ji, MD, from Zhengzhou University in China, and colleagues identified 14 randomized controlled trials (54,913 participants) published before August 2012.

The researchers observed a reduction in overall stroke events with a reduction in homocysteine levels following B vitamin supplementation (relative risk, 0.93; P=0.04), but not in subgroups based on primary or secondary prevention measures, ischemic vs. hemorrhagic stroke, or occurrence of fatal stroke. In subgroups with at least three years of follow-up time and without background of cereal folate fortification or chronic kidney disease, there were beneficial effects of supplementation in reducing stroke events. There was not a significant benefit from intervention dose of vitamin B12, specifically, or baseline blood B12 concentration. For patients with >130mmHg systolic blood pressure and lower antiplatelet drug use, supplementation showed benefits in reducing stroke risk.

“B vitamin supplementation for homocysteine reduction significantly reduced stroke events, especially in subjects with certain characteristics who received appropriate intervention measures,” the authors write.

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