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Folic acid backing

Folic acid supplementation does appear to protect against stroke, according to a new meta-analysis which seems to refute previous work.

Another meta-analysis last year concluded folic acid supplementation – which can reduce levels of homocysteine linked to cardiovascular disease – did not reduce CVD mortality.The new study found an 18% cut in risk of stroke after combining data from eight trials.Professor Xiaobin Wang, study leader and director of child health research at the Children's Memorial Research Center in Chicago, said: 'Our findings indicate folic acid supplementation can effectively reduce the risk of stroke in primary prevention.'In countries where there was no or only partial fortification of grain, supplements cut risk by a substantial 25%, Professor Wang reported in the latest issue of The Lancet.In an accompanying commentary, Cynthia Carlsson, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin school of medicine and public health, said trials were needed to define safe supplementation levels.

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