[Group B vitamins as new variables related to the cardiovascular risk].Ital Heart J Suppl. 2005 Jan; 6(1):1-16.IH
The nutritional status and plasma concentrations of some group B vitamins, namely vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid, have recently emerged as inverse correlates of cardiovascular risk, and several experimental and clinical studies, these latter mostly retrospective and case-control studies, indicate a defect of such vitamins as capable of promoting the progression of atherosclerosis. Since all these vitamins are implicated in homocysteine metabolism, and since homocysteine has a well-recognized relationship with cardiovascular risk, the simplest hypothesis to explain the relationship of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid on the one hand, and cardiovascular risk on the other is that this relationship is mediated by plasma levels of homocysteine. The most convincing literature data for the existence of a relationship with cardiovascular risk are for vitamin B6 and folic acid. These vitamins, however, have also a series of in vitro effects indicating a direct antiatherogenic action, and the results of several clinical studies, especially for vitamin B6, indicate an inverse relationship with cardiovascular risk at least in part independent of homocysteinemia. A further confirmation of these data is important to devise future intervention strategies in primary and secondary prophylaxis of atherosclerotic vascular disease.