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B12 Deficit May Boost Risk of Birth Defects
Date:3/2/2009

cal 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


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