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Changes of some vitamin levels during and after normal pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Most vitamin status parameters change significantly during pregnancy. A number of factors have been associated with this hypovitaminaemia of pregnancy. From our data, it was concluded that the initial value of a vitamin status parameter was by far the main determinant of the changes of vitamin levels during pregnancy: the higher the value, the steeper the decrease. Some hormonal variables were associated with these changes as well. This is highly suggestive of a resetting of vitamin homeostasis in blood, with a retention of vitamins in maternal tissues. The postpartum changes of vitamin levels provide insight into the 'net cost' of vitamins during pregnancy. Most serum blood levels of vitamins normalized shortly after delivery. Serum vitamin B6 levels increased slowly with 25% below the acceptable range at 6 months postpartum. However, the GGOT stimulation ratio, indicative for vitamin B6 cellular content, was completely normal at the time. Serum folacin was the only exception, with 45% serum levels in the marginal or deficient range; 20% of this group had deficient or marginal red cell folacin levels as well. This indicates that the 'net cost' of folacin during pregnancy is considerable, and repletion of folacin stores takes more than 6 months.

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