People who take vitamin B supplements regularly are less likely to suffer from strokes, researchers reveal.Sean Michael Ragan/Flickr

People who take vitamin B supplements regularly are less likely to suffer from strokes, a new study reveals.

The study published in the journal Neurology showed proof that vitamin B supplements were highly effective in lowering the risk of stroke.

Researchers used data from 14 previous studies that observed the link between vitamin B supplements and stroke risk. The studies included 54,913 participants and details of 2,471 stroke cases that took place during the study period. 

Study author Xu Yuming from Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China, and colleagues found that vitamin B supplements helped reduce risk of stroke by seven percent, but hardly helped to reduce the severity of strokes or he risk of dying from stroke.

Apart from that, taking folic acid through diet or supplements left a negative impact on the role of vitamin B supplements and lowered its effects.

Taking this into consideration, the authors recommended that anyone planning to take vitamin B supplements should fist consult a doctor. "Based on our results, the ability of vitamin B to reduce stroke risk may be influenced by a number of other factors such as the body's absorption rate, the amount of folic acid or vitamin B12 concentration in the blood, and whether a person has kidney disease or high blood pressure," Yuming said in a news release. "Before you begin taking any supplements, you should always talk to your doctor."

The findings contradict previous studies that said vitamin B supplements increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. "Previous studies have conflicting findings regarding the use of vitamin B supplements and stroke or heart attack," Yuming, explained. "Some studies have even suggested that the supplements may increase the risk of these events."

During a stroke, blood supply to the brain gets interrupted, affecting the normal supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, thus damaging brain tissue. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death across the globe. According to World Health Organization, nearly 15 million people experience stroke every year, five million people lose their lives to the deadly disease and another five million become permanently disabled due to the condition.

According to the Indian National Commission on Macro-economics and Health, stroke cases across India will go up from 1,081,480 in 2000 to 1,667,372 in 2015.

Taking an appropriate medical intervention can help reduce brain damage.  Following are some symptoms of Stroke as provided by Mayo Clinic in US:

  • Experiencing difficulties in walking
  • Experiencing communication problems, including difficulties in speaking, understanding speech
  • Sudden feel of paralysis or numbness of face, arm, leg
  • Problems with the sight- blurred or blackened vision
  • Headache with vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness