Posted on Jun 18, 2012, 6 a.m.
One in ten people could see their blood pressure fall to within target values simply by increasing their intake of vitamin B2.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) could help people who carry a specific genetic risk factor to lower their blood pressure. Dr Carol Wilson from the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) at the University of Ulster, and colleagues investigated the effect of riboflavin on blood pressure in people with the TT genotype, a cardiovascular risk factor found in approximately 10% of the population. Results showed that vitamin B2 significantly reduced blood pressure of people with the TT genotype to within target values, at the same time as having no adverse effects on people who do not carry the genotype. Dr Wilson said of the findings: “The blood pressure lowering response described in this research paper is hugely relevant in terms of its clinical implications. The extent of blood pressure reduction translates into a 30% predicted reduction in the risk of stroke death in the at-risk group. It would take about 10 kilos of weight loss to achieve the blood pressuring lowering that was reported in our findings.” The authors concluded: “Optimizing riboflavin status offers a low-cost targeted strategy for managing elevated blood pressure in this genetically at-risk group.”
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Carol P Wilson, Mary Ward, Helene McNulty, J J Strain, Tom G Trouton, Geraldine Horigan, John Purvis, John M Scott. "Riboflavin offers a targeted strategy for managing hypertension in patients with the MTHFR 677TT genotype: a 4-y follow-up." Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95:766-772.