Dietary intake of vitamin B12 and folic acid is associated with lower blood pressure in Japanese preschool children

Am J Hypertens. 2011 Nov;24(11):1215-21. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2011.133. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


Background: An elevated plasma homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, and its level is regulated by three vitamins; vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid. Until now, the association between the intake of these vitamins and blood pressure has been examined only in adult populations. We purposed to examine the association between dietary intake of these three vitamins and blood pressure of young children.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study at Japanese preschools in 2006. Blood pressure was measured among 418 children aged 3-6 years. Diets including vitamins were assessed by a 3-day dietary record. We compared the blood pressure levels among the four groups defined according to quartile of energy-adjusted vitamin intake by using analysis of covariance after controlling for age, sex, and body mass index.

Results: The mean systolic blood pressure was 6.6 mm Hg lower and the mean diastolic blood pressure was 5.7 mm Hg lower in the highest quartile than in the lowest quartile of vitamin B12 intake (P for trend was <0.001 and 0.006, respectively). The mean systolic blood pressure was 4.1 mm Hg lower in the highest quartile than in the lowest quartile of folic acid intake (P for trend = 0.004). Vitamin B6 intake was not significantly associated with blood pressure.

Conclusions: The data suggest that high intakes of folic acid and vitamin B12 are associated with lower levels of blood pressure among preschool children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian People
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B 6 / administration & dosage


  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12