Having high blood pressure is extremely dangerous as blood vessels become damaged and can narrow. This could lead them to rupture or even leak. High blood pressure can also cause blood clots to form in the arteries leading to the brain, blocking blood flow and potentially causing a stroke. Fortunately, there are a few things a person can do to help naturally lower their blood pressure and taking a folic acid supplement is one of them.
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Taking a folic acid supplement helps to reduce the level of an organic compound called homocysteine in the blood.
When a person has high levels of homocysteine more blood clots are formed, and this leads to cardiovascular diseases like stroke.
The major risk of blood clots is that they block the supply of blood to the brain, triggering a stroke.
What is homocysteine?
Homocysteine is a common amino acid in the blood.
A person develops high levels of homocysteine by eating a lot of red meat.
Having high levels of homocysteine increases a person’s risk of heart disease.
It’s also associated with having low levels of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, as well as renal disease.
How folic acid could help
Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin found naturally in leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and lentils.
Folic acid, also known as folate, can also be found in vitamin supplements and fortified foods including breads and breakfast cereals.
Researchers believe that folic acid could help reduce the risk of high blood pressure by helping blood vessels to relax and as such improve blood flow.
Previous studies have shown that diets rich in folic acid can help improve blood pressure.
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What the studies said
In a study which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analysed diet and blood pressure information from more than 150,000 women.
The study showed that younger women who got at least 1,000 micrograms of folic acid a day from their diet or supplements had a 46 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
For women aged 43 to 70 years old, those who had a higher folic acid intake had an 18 percent lower risk of high blood pressure.
The cardiovascular benefits of folate have been known for decades said Harvard Health.
The health site continued: “Studies begun in the 1970s have shown that people who said they consumed more folate had fewer strokes and heart attacks than those who reported consuming less.
“Folate, along with other B vitamins, helps break down homocysteine.
“Fruits and vegetables are important sources of folate in the diet, and they also bring lots of other benefits, such as potassium and phytonutrients which also help lower cardiovascular disease.”
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