Navigation Links
B12 Deficit May Boost Risk of Birth Defects

Women who are vegans and vegetarians most affected, study says

MONDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women who do not have enough vitamin B12 in their blood before and after conception have a greater chance of having a baby with brain or spinal cord defects, a new study says.

Most at risk may be vegans and vegetarians, since B12 is far more common in meat and animal-based foods, noted an American and Irish research team whose findings were published in the March issue of Pediatrics..

According to the study, women with low levels of B12 had at least 2.5 times the risk of giving birth to a child with these neural tube defects, which can lead to partial paralysis or even death, than women with the highest B12 levels.

"Vitamin B12 is essential for the functioning of the nervous system and for the production of red blood cells," Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said in a news release issued by its parent organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "The results of this study suggest that women with low levels of B12 not only may risk health problems of their own, but also may increase the chance that their children may be born with a serious birth defect."

Researchers analyzed blood collected during the early pregnancy stages of hundreds of women from Ireland, a country with a high rate of neural tube defects. Either the women had previously given birth to a baby with a neural tube defect or were known to be carrying babies with the disorder.

Women with B12 concentrations below 250 ng/L before pregnancy had roughly three times the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect as those with higher B12 blood levels. Those women whose levels were less than 150 ng/L, which is considered B12 deficient, had five times the risk of women with higher levels.

The researchers used statistical techniques to focus solely on B12 levels and factor out the role of folic acid, a nutrient known to help prevent pregnant women from birthing babies with neural tube defects. The study authors noted that B12 and folate are jointly linked to several key biochemical reactions, but that a lack of either B12 or folate increased the risk of a neural tube defect.

While confirmation from other studies is needed, the authors suggested women should have vitamin B12 levels above 300 ng/L before becoming pregnant. Study co-author Dr. James L. Mills, a senior investigator in the NICHD division of epidemiology, statistics and prevention research, went further, recommending all women of childbearing age always consume the daily recommended amount of vitamin B12 and at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about having a healthy pregnancy.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, news release, March 2, 2009

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Pedophilia patients are found to have deficits in brain activation
2. ACM Helps Medicaid Programs Comply With Federal Deficit Reduction Act Mandates
3. CDC Study Links Thimerosal in Vaccines to Motor/Phonic Tics and Deficits in Attention, Behavior Control, Verbal IQ
4. Cognitive deficits lead to loss of self among cancer patients
5. Study examines decision-making deficits in older adults
6. Brain region that can be stimulated to reduce the cognitive deficits of sleep deprivation identified
7. Gene therapy trains immune system to destroy brain cancer cells and reverses behavioral deficits
8. Deficit in Brain Function Puts Teens at Risk of Drug Abuse
9. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association and The HealthCentral Network Form Alliance to Develop New Online Resources for Adult ADHD
10. Sentry Data Systems Announces Deficit Reduction Act Compliance Tool
11. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Is Safe, Effective and Can Help Reverse Mental Acuity Deficits in Smokers Who Are Quitting, Including Commercial and Private Pilots
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
B12 Deficit May Boost Risk of Birth Defects
(Date:11/30/2015)... NC (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Dawes, Amanda Beard and Brooke Bennett are collaborating with brands across various categories ... These four influential figures make up an elite group of Gold Medal Moms ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... City, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is ... the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... stressful. At the VA Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program ... “Caregivers have a difficult job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research ... U.S. require dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase ... “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Museum of Science & ... a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, by popular demand, the ... guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s main entrance. This experience ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 North America was ... grow at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2015 to 2020. ... 135.6 million in 2014, and is expected to grow at a ... to the new Market Research Report "North America Cardiac Output Monitoring ... (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis And Forecast To 2020", the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Six Months Ended 30 September 2015 2014RestatedChange%Turnover 545,575 , 518,852 , ... , 384,242 , 9.8 Hospital Management Service ... (18.3) Medical Insurance Administration Service Income , 2,780 ... Devices and Accessories Sales , 89,645 , 94,580 ... 2,822 , 2,917 , (3.3) ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... been the norm in U.S. medical imaging ... The increasingly popular accountable care payer-provider contracts ... models and, in their wake, alter provider-vendor ... quality-based payments will push forward new purchasing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: