What is the danger of vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 31.05.2018

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31 May 2017, 09:00

Babies, who were born in women with a deficiency of vitamin B 12, have an increased tendency to develop type 2 diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases. Such conclusions were obtained by English scientists after the study.

Lead project developer Professor Ponusamli Saravanan, as well as other researchers, talked about the results of their work at the Endocrinology Society meeting.

Cyanocobalamin - or B 12 - refers to water-soluble vitamin substances, which are present in sufficient quantities in animal products: meat, dairy products, eggs, fish. Also, this vitamin in an artificial form is often introduced into products intended for vegetarians - for example, in muesli or cereal mixtures, to prevent its deficiency.

According to the latest information from the American National Institutes of Health, the daily recommended amount of cyanocobalamin for women during pregnancy is 2.6 μg.

An insufficient amount of B 12 during pregnancy leads to a metabolic disorder in the fetus. Newborn babies may have insulin resistance and have an increased risk of diabetes mellitus type II.

Such adverse consequences are due to impaired production of leptin, a hormonal substance produced in mammalian and human lipocytes. Leptin is known to many as a "full-fatness hormone" - it is thanks to it that we understand that we are satisfied while eating.

If leptin in the body is not enough, or there is resistance to it, then the person begins to overeat, there is a set of weight. As a result, metabolic reactions are violated, tissues lose sensitivity to insulin, which gives impetus to the development of insulin-dependent diabetes.

The research conducted by the scientists allowed to prove that the content of cyanocobalamin in the blood of a pregnant woman less than 150 pmol per liter is a potential risk of impaired metabolism in a future baby. Children born with a vitamin deficiency may subsequently have problems with the level of leptin and normal metabolism in general. There is a large share of the probability that without cyanocobalamin, the gene responsible for the amount of leptin initially functions incorrectly, which causes a permanent lack of this hormonal substance.

"To date, we can not voice a clear mechanism why this happens. We have only an assumption that is based on the fact that cyanocobalamin takes part in methylation processes, which means that its shortage can affect the degree of activation of any genes, "the scientists explained.

Medical specialists unequivocally advise to listen to scientists. Even though the research has not been completed and the results of the experiments have not yet been officially tested, the correct conclusion can be drawn right now: all women who plan to conceive or are already in a state of pregnancy must receive all the vitamins necessary for the body - and cyanocobalamin in their number.

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