A recent study shows folic acid and vitamin B12 are safe and effective in reducing the risk of hip fracture in older patients after having a stroke . According to researchers stroke patients have a two- to four-times greater risk of hip fracture than their healthy peers due to higher levels of plasma homocysteine in stroke patients, which may be associated with osteoporosis and risk of hip fracture.
The study was initiated to determine if folic acid and vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels. The 314 stroke patients who participated in the study received five milligrams of folate and 1,500 micrograms of B12 and 314 patients received placebo . Over the two-year follow-up, there were eight fractures in the treatment group and 32 in the placebo group. In addition, patients taking folate and B12 experienced a 38-percent decrease in their plasma homocysteine levels whereas participants in the control group had their levels increase by 31 percent.
In conclusion researchers say treatment with folate and vitamin B12 was effective in reducing the risk of post-stroke fractures.