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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Nov;27(17):1749-53. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.879702. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Association of homocysteine with global DNA methylation in vegetarian Indian pregnant women and neonatal birth anthropometrics.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Pune , Pune , India .



The present study was designed to evaluate if plasma maternal folate, vitamin B-12 and homocysteine levels had an effect on maternal global DNA methylation and neonatal anthropometrics in Indian pregnant women.


A total of 49 participants having completed ≥36 weeks of pregnancy were enrolled in the study. Estimation of folate was by Ion capture assay, vitamin B-12 by microparticle enzyme immunoassay, total homocysteine by fluorescence polarization immunoassay and global DNA methylation using Cayman's DNA methylation enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kit.


Folate and vitamin B-12 were inversely correlated to homocysteine in pregnant women consuming vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet. No difference in global DNA methylation was found between the vegetarian and non-vegetarian pregnant women. Folate and vitamin B-12 did not show association with global DNA methylation, however plasma total homocysteine of the vegetarian group showed significant correlation to global DNA methylation (r(2 )= 0.49, p = 0.011). Plasma total homocysteine was inversely related to tricep skinfold (r(2 )= -0.484, p = 0.01) and chest circumference (r(2 )= -0.104, p = 0.04) of neonates in vegetarian group.


Moderate vitamin B-12 deficiency in vegetarian pregnant women might be the cause of hyperhomocystinemia, hypermethylation when compared to vitamin B-12 sufficient non-vegetarian group.


Hyperhomocystinemia; S-adenosyl-methionine; S-adenosylhomocysteine; hypermethylation

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