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Folic acid, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 may help prevent heart attacks and strokes. B vitamins can help keep the amino acid homocysteine, a natural body chemical which can cause blood vessel damage, in check. High blood levels of homocysteine are "about as dangerous as smoking" according to Killian Robinson, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic. Homocysteine levels tend to increase with age and also in women after menopause as B vitamins become more difficult to absorb. The current RDA of 200 mcg (men) 180 mcg (women) folic acid, 2 mg (men) 1.6 mg (women) vitamin B-6, and 2 mcg BB-12 (men and women) may not be enough to provide protective effect against cardiovascular disease. Vitamins B-6 and B-12 are found in most meat products; however, folic acid is not as prevalent. It can be found abundantly in liver and other foods like leafy green vegetables, beans, and cereals. You may want to consider supplements, but be careful since high doses of B vitamins can cause problems of their own, problems such as masking anemia and causing nerve damage.


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