The findings of a new study have now revealed the importance of folic acid, and has found that it could actually reduce the risk of stroke, particularly for patients affected by hypertension.
A combination of enalapril, a common drug used to deal with hypertension and folic acid, can significantly reduce the risk of first stroke in individuals.
The researchers have presented these findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and this is supposedly the first study that has tested the efficacy of folic acid when used in combination with enalapril.
The researchers compared these results with the results obtained from patients who took only enalapril for reducing the risk of stroke.
The researchers took 20,702 participants for the study, all of whom were affected by hypertension by did not have any history of heart disease or stroke. Of these, 10,348 participants were given a combination pill of folic acid and enalapril, and 10,354 were given a pill that contained only enalapril.
These participants were then observed for a period of 4.5 years, and the studies revealed that the subjects who took the combination drug were less likely to suffer a first stroke as compared to those who simply took the enalapril drug.
Just 282 participants from those who took the combination pill suffered from a stroke, as opposed to 355 participants who took the enalapril drug only. The researchers believe that the combination of folic acid and enalapril could help cut down the risk of stroke by 21%.
Furthermore, the researchers also believe that participants who were treated with this combination drug had a much reduced risk of developing other conditions such as ischemic stroke and other composite cardiovascular diseases which can lead to stroke and therefore death.
They stress on the importance of following a diet rich in folic acid to reduce the risk of first stroke. Dark green leafy vegetables, lentils, dried beans and citrus fruits are excellent sources of this mineral, and can be included in the diet.
“These findings are consistent with benefits from foliate use among adults with hypertension and low baseline foliate levels,” the researchers concluded.