folic acid and B6 reduce risk of all cause mortality and death from cancer and cardiovascular disease

B6 and folic acid are essential vitamins that play many crucial roles in your body. But, like all vitamins, your body can’t manufacture them, so you have to get them through diet or supplements. And here’s a big reason to do that: you’ll live longer.

Folic acid, B6 and B12 play a number of vital roles in the body, none more vital than preventing heart disease by controlling homocysteine.

This massive new study examined the effect of dietary folic acid, B6 and B12 on death from any cause as well as death from specific causes.

There were 55,569 people in the study, making it the largest study ever done on the effect of these B vitamins on mortality. All of them were twenty years old or older. The average age was 49, and over the ten year study, 11,535 people died.

Men who got more folic acid in their diet were 23% less likely to die from any cause during the study. They were 41% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 32% less likely to die from cancer. Women who got the most folic acid were 14% less likely to die from any cause and 47% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. The 18% reduction in risk of dying from cancer for women was not statistically significant.

When it came to dietary B6, the men who got the most were 21% less likely to die from any cause during the study, 31% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 27% less likely to die from cancer. For women, the reduction in risk was 12% for death from all causes and 44% for cardiovascular disease.

Dietary B12 was not associated with protection from death in men or women.

This large study suggests that increasing folic acid and B6 can lower your risk of premature death.

Good food sources of B6 include legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, bananas, avocados, kale, spinach, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Good food sources of folic acid include green leafy vegetables, legumes, asparagus, nuts and broccoli.

 Nutrients. 2022 Jun;14(11):2253

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