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Americans Urged To Consume More Folic Acid

DALLAS, Texas--In the upcoming January 5-12, 1999, issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA issued a Science Advisory urging doctors to begin screening high-risk patients with a personal or family history of heart disease for homocysteine levels in the blood and urged all Americans to increase intake of foods containing folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, such as Total, made by General Mills, as well as leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes, and other good sources.

"This is a major announcement by the American Heart Association," said James Rippe, M.D., of Tufts University Medical School. "As a cardiologist, I will be directing my patients to make an easy, manageable change in their daily routines, namely eat a fortified breakfast cereal such as Total, which was used in a landmark study cited in the AHA's Science Advisory."

Total breakfast cereal contains 100 percent of the Daily Value of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 and was used in research to lower blood levels of homocysteine. A 1/2 cup of Total cereal was eaten daily by patients in a 15-week randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial and lowered blood levels of homocysteine by an average 11 percent, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was among the research that led to the AHA announcement.

Despite more than 80 epidemiological studies demonstrating connections between plasma homocysteine levels and cardiovascular disease, more long term clinical studies are needed before prescribing a more aggressive approach for treating high homocysteine, according to the AHA Science Advisory.

"Until results of controlled clinical trials become available, emphasis should be placed on meeting current Daily Value for folic acid, B6, B12 by intake of ready-to-eat fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, fruits, and legumes," said the AHA Science Advisory.

The only source of food that contains all three critical
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Contact: Tom Johnson
sheeh000@mail.genmills.com
612-540-2531
General Mills
29-Dec-1998


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