According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 130,000 Americans die of a stroke each year, making it the leading cause of death in the country. Prevention and knowing the signs of a stroke are key for both men and women.
A new study found vitamin B supplements may have a positive impact on health in regard to preventing a stroke, which gives hope this statistic can be curbed. But is it right for you?
Researchers at Zhengzhou University in China have uncovered potential new benefits to taking a low-dose vitamin B supplement on a daily basis. This new information, published in the medical journal Neurology on September 18, comes from a review of 14 different clinical trials involving about 55,000 patients. The patients took either a placebo or vitamin B daily for at least six months. Of all the patients involved, 2,471 suffered strokes. The results indicated taking vitamin B supplements reduced the risk of stroke by 7 percent. However, the vitamin B supplements had no effect on how severe a stroke was or the likelihood of the stroke being fatal. They also didn't impact the likelihood of having a heart attack.
Interestingly enough, they found vitamin B12, one of the most common vitamins taken in supplement form, to have to effect on stroke risk. Folic acid could also negatively impact the benefits of other vitamin B supplements. This may be because the patient already has enough of the given vitamin in their body, or a number of other factors that can result in a stroke.
The key is to speak with your doctor before adding any B vitamin supplements to your diet for this purpose. They can run blood tests to determine which, if any, you may be deficient in and to determine the correct dosage and how long to use the product for. This is especially important if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, at high risk for stroke or are being treated for another medical condition.
Signs of a Stroke
A stroke occurs when one of the arteries within the brain becomes blocked off or bursts. This prevents that specific part of the brain from getting the oxygen and additional nutrients it needs to properly function. As a result, that portion of the brain begins to die.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can mean the difference between life and death. Here are the signs to look for, according to the Mayo Clinic:
Severe headache that may cause nausea, dizziness or confusion.
Numbness or paralysis in face, legs or arms -- especially all on one side of the body.
Blurred vision or loss of vision.
Difficulty speaking or comprehending what others are saying to you.
Difficulty walking and keeping your balance.
These symptoms will come on suddenly in someone having a stroke and will last until proper treatment is received. It's crucial to pay attention to how you feel and always seek the help of a medical professional when in doubt.
There are ways to lower your risk of having a stroke. Keep these tips from the National Stroke Association in mind to help you better manage your health:
Check your blood pressure regularly and make sure it's at or below the magic number of 120/80.
Drink alcohol in moderation.
Keep your cholesterol below 200.
Get your heart checked to make sure you don't suffer from a condition called atrial fibrillation (Afib), which can cause blood clots.
Exercise regularly, aiming for 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week.
Eat a balanced diet that is low in salt and fat.
You can lower your risk for a stroke in more ways than one. Talk to your doctor about trying a vitamin B supplements -- no matter the dosage, we have what you need at eVitamins!
Have a great week!