Increased intake of folic acid and B-12 through diet or supplements may helpreduce the "bad" amino acid homocysteine and help us live longer, recentresearch reveals. High homocysteine levels are suspected of contributing to 6percent to 10 percent of all heart attack deaths in the United States. Scientists at the University of Michigan used a computer model toinvestigate everything known about homocysteine's harmful effects and howfolic acid and vitamin B-12 seem to regulate the amino acid's level in theblood. They worked under the assumption that reducing homocysteine levelswould reduce the homocysteine-related heart-disease risk by 40 percent in anyparticular group. They found that with vitamin supplements, about eight yearsof life could collectively be gained for every group of 1,000 men and fouryears for every group of 1,000 women. This came about no matter whether thevitamins were given to all at-risk people or just those whose blood testshowed elevated homocysteine levels. Full findings are published this week inthe US journal ,Archives of Internal Medicine.