Vitamin B12 is a component of the B-complex vitamins, which are needed for cellular metabolism and healthy nerves. In addition, it plays an important role in producing DNA.
Intake of vitamin B-12 is inversely associated with blood pressure in children with low folic acid intake. In addition, it is also related to the level of plasma homocysteine (Hcy), a by-product of protein metabolism that may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B12 has been shown to decrease plasma Hcy levels. However, there are few studies exploring whether higher plasma homocysteine levels are associated with high blood pressure. Moreover, most studies of the relationship between homocysteine and hypertension focus on the genetics of the condition. Therefore, additional studies are needed to determine if there is a causal relationship.
A study conducted in rural Chinese adults suggests that high dietary intake of vitamin B6 and folate is associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension. In addition, higher intake of vitamin B6 is associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Previous work from our Centre has shown that a C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene increases the risk of high BP. As such, the study aims to determine the blood pressure lowering effects of B-vitamins in adults with a genetic predisposition to elevated blood pressure.
To do this, 418 individuals were divided into four groups according to their vitamin intake. Their systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured. Results were analyzed using regression models on continuous values. Statistically significant results were obtained when P values were less than 0.05.