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J Nutr. 2014 May;144(5):758-64. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.187278. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Vitamin B-12 supplementation during pregnancy and early lactation increases maternal, breast milk, and infant measures of vitamin B-12 status.

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1
Divisions of Nutrition.

Abstract

Pregnant women in resource-poor areas are at risk of multiple micronutrient deficiencies, and indicators of low vitamin B-12 status have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, including anemia, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth retardation. To evaluate whether daily oral vitamin B-12 supplementation during pregnancy increases maternal and infant measures of vitamin B-12 status, we performed a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Pregnant women <14 wk of gestation in Bangalore, India, were randomly assigned to receive daily oral supplementation with vitamin B-12 (50 μg) or placebo through 6 wk postpartum. All women were administered iron and folic acid supplements throughout pregnancy. One hundred eighty-three women were randomly assigned to receive vitamin B-12 and 183 to receive placebo. Compared with placebo recipients, vitamin B-12-supplemented women had significantly higher plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations at both the second (median vitamin B-12 concentration: 216 vs. 111 pmol/L, P < 0.001) and third (median: 184 vs. 105 pmol/L, P < 0.001) trimesters. At 6 wk postpartum, median breast milk vitamin B-12 concentration was 136 pmol/L in vitamin B-12-supplemented women vs. 87 pmol/L in the placebo group (P < 0.0005). Among vitamin B-12-supplemented women, the incidence of delivering an infant with intrauterine growth retardation was 33 of 131 (25%) vs. 43 of 125 (34%) in those administered placebo (P = 0.11). In a subset of infants tested at 6 wk of age, median plasma vitamin B-12 concentration was 199 pmol/L in those born to supplemented women vs. 139 pmol/L in the placebo group (P = 0.01). Infant plasma methylmalonic acid and homocysteine concentrations were significantly lower in the vitamin B-12 group as well. Oral supplementation of urban Indian women with vitamin B-12 throughout pregnancy and early lactation significantly increases vitamin B-12 status of mothers and infants. It is important to determine whether there are correlations between these findings and neurologic and metabolic functions. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00641862.

PMID:
24598885
PMCID:
PMC3985831
DOI:
10.3945/jn.113.187278
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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