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DSM announces new research revealing how a B vitamin can help lower blood pressure

Kaiseraugst, CH, 29 May 2012 12:00 CEST

Research conducted by the University of Ulster and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reveals a new link between vitamin B2 and curbing high blood pressure.

Around 10% of the UK population has a specific genetic factor which can lead to high blood pressure. The new study from the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) reveals that vitamin B2 can successfully lower blood pressure within this genetically at-risk group, to an extent that could cut the risk of stroke death by as much as 30%.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and heart disease, and is the leading risk factor for death worldwide. In this study, which followed 83 patients over a four year period, vitamin B2 was so effective for those with the relevant genetic factor, that it would take around 10 kilos of weight loss, or an exercise regime burning 4200 calories per week, to achieve a comparable reduction in blood pressure.

Vitamin B2 is a micronutrient that is key to good health. It is mainly found in milk and dairy products, as well as in fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, but adults frequently don’t eat adequate amounts in their diet.

Co-investigator Professor Helene McNulty, Professor of Nutritional Science at the University of Ulster commented: “Increasing vitamin B2 intakes through improved diet, fortified foods or supplements could lower blood pressure in the 10% of the population with the relevant genetic factor without causing harm to those who do not have it. These findings offer us an exciting non-drug treatment for high blood pressure.”

DSM, the world’s leading provider of vitamins and micronutrients, collaborates with the research group at the University of Ulster and supports research in this field.

Commenting on these latest findings, Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, DSM Senior Vice-President for Nutrition and Science Advocacy commented: “2012 marks 100 years since the discovery of vitamins, and yet the story is far from over. New scientific approaches are telling us more and more about the benefits of vitamins, and this is an important example of how a B vitamin can benefit long-term health.”