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    Vitamins That Fight Inflammation

    B Vitamins

    The trio of B6, folate (B9), and B12 can lower your levels of homocysteine, a protein that's linked to a greater risk for heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. But we can't say for sure that lowering homocysteine will also lower your risk for disease.

    The same is true for C-reactive protein, a sign of inflammation. These B vitamins can bring levels of it down, but whether that cuts the risk of heart disease remains to be seen.

    A Chinese study of people who were newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's and took folic acid improved their symptoms by lowering inflammation.

    What to eat:
    Beef liver has all three. Fish, red meat, and poultry will help with B6 and B12. Eggs are good for folate and B12. Fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, and nuts will give you B6 and folate. Milk and dairy products will boost your B12.

    These vitamins are added to many breakfast cereals. Grain products like bread and pasta often have extra folic acid.

    What else you need to know:
    Overdoing B6 supplements can cause skin sores, a sensitivity to light, nausea, and heartburn. If you take too much for more than a year, you could have problems with your nerves and lose control of movements.

    You could also get nerve damage without enough B12.

    High levels of folic acid could raise some people's risk of cancer.

    Some drugs lower levels of B vitamins, and sometimes a vitamin can affect how a medication works. You could have a problem with cycloserine (Seromycin) for tuberculosis, metformin for diabetes, methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis, or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) for ulcerative colitis. Also check with your doctor if you take a prescription for seizures, asthma or lung disease, acid reflux, or a stomach ulcer. Don't stop taking any medicine unless your doctor says it's OK.

    Vitamin C

    This antioxidant helps get rid of free radicals that can damage cells and tissue, which means fewer triggers for inflammation.

    Regularly eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, which have antioxidants, can lower your chance of heart disease. But studies on supplements have been back-and-forth, with some showing benefits for heart disease and cancer, others not.

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