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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

In a randomized trial of more than 5400 women with cardiovascular disease or risk factors, women were randomized to placebo or a combination of folic acid 2.5 mg/day, Vitamin B6, 50 mg/day and Vitamin B12, 1mg/day. The women were over the age of 40, and two thirds of them had a history of cardiovascular disease and the remainder had three or more risk factors.  Sepia VisionResearchers performed a new analysis of the Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study (WAFACS) to assess whether B vitamins lowered the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). With an average follow-up of 7 years, the incidence of AMD was 2% in the B vitamin group vs. 3% in the placebo group.

Commentary: We know that elevated homocysteine levels are associated with the risk for AMD and B vitamins lower homocysteine levels. The current study suggests that supplementation with these three B vitamins can lower the risk for AMD, although it is not clear if this result is indeed related to homocysteine lowering or some other mechanism.


Christen W,et al. Folic acid, pyridoxine, and cyanocobalamin combination treatment and age-related macular degeneration in women: The women’s antioxidant and folic acid cardiovascular study. Arch Intern Med 2009. Feb 23;169:335

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