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Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 3;7:45322. doi: 10.1038/srep45322.

B-vitamin Supplementation Mitigates Effects of Fine Particles on Cardiac Autonomic Dysfunction and Inflammation: A Pilot Human Intervention Trial.

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Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York, USA.
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Division of Occupational &Environmental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Singapore.
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191 China.
Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Ambient fine particle (PM2.5) pollution triggers acute cardiovascular events. Individual-level preventions are proposed to complement regulation in reducing the global burden of PM2.5-induced cardiovascular diseases. We determine whether B vitamin supplementation mitigates PM2.5 effects on cardiac autonomic dysfunction and inflammation in a single-blind placebo-controlled crossover pilot trial. Ten healthy adults received two-hour controlled-exposure-experiment to sham under placebo, PM2.5 (250 μg/m3) under placebo, and PM2.5 (250 μg/m3) under B-vitamin supplementation (2.5 mg/d folic acid, 50 mg/d vitamin B6, and 1 mg/d vitamin B12), respectively. At pre-, post-, 24 h-post-exposure, we measured resting heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) with electrocardiogram, and white blood cell (WBC) counts with hematology analyzer. Compared to sham, PM2.5 exposure increased HR (3.8 bpm, 95% CI: 0.3, 7.4; P = 0.04), total WBC count (11.5%, 95% CI: 0.3%, 24.0%; P = 0.04), lymphocyte count (12.9%, 95% CI: 4.4%, 22.1%; P = 0.005), and reduced low-frequency power (57.5%, 95% CI: 2.5%, 81.5%; P = 0.04). B-vitamin supplementation attenuated PM2.5 effect on HR by 150% (P = 0.003), low-frequency power by 90% (P = 0.01), total WBC count by 139% (P = 0.006), and lymphocyte count by 106% (P = 0.02). In healthy adults, two-hour PM2.5 exposure substantially increases HR, reduces HRV, and increases WBC. These effects are reduced by B vitamin supplementation.

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