Vitamin B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy Amplifies Kid’s Diabetes Risk

According to a new study conducted by Dr. Ponusammy Saravanan and colleagues from  University of Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom, Kids born to mothers who had vitamin B12 insufficiency during pregnancy may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems.

Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin normally present in animal products, such as milk, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, and fish. It is also offered as a dietary supplement and included to some non-animal products, like as breakfast cereals.

According to the National Institute of Health, vitamin B12 helps a variety of bodily functions, which includes red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and neurological functioning.

The suggested daily vitamin B12 consumption for people aged 14 and older is 2.4 micrograms, rising a little bit to 2.6 micrograms for pregnant mothers, and 2.8 micrograms while breast-feeding.

Senior author Dr. Saravanan and colleagues say that earlier research has proven that women with reduced vitamin B12 levels while in pregnancy are more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) and have low birth weight babies with high cholesterol.

In addition, such study has shown these children have higher insulin resistance in childhood, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin B12 insufficiency in pregnancy may modify children’s leptin levels

Dr. Saravanan and colleagues determined to figure out whether these earlier observations might be connected with leptin, a hormone generated by fat cells. Frequently referred to as the “satiety hormone,” leptin tells us when it is time to cease eating.

Study has proven that unwanted weight can lead to an increase in leptin levels in reaction to food consumption. This can trigger leptin resistance, which may result in further overeating, weight gain, and insulin resistance, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.

For their research, the investigators examined 91 blood samples obtained from mothers and their children at delivery to figure out vitamin B12 levels. In addition, they examined 42 maternal and neonate fat tissue samples and 83 placental tissue samples.

The investigators identified that children born to mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency – described as lower than 150 picomoles per liter – were more probably to have higher-than-normal leptin levels, which may increase their possibility of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems.

The study team speculates that vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnant mothers may impact leptin gene programming, modifying production of the hormone while in fetal development.

Commenting on their findings Dr. Ponusammy Saravanan said,

“The nutritional environment given by the mother can permanently program the baby’s health. We know that kids born to under or over-nourished mothers are at an enhanced risk of health issues like as type 2 diabetes, and we also see that expectant mothers B12 deficiency may impact fat metabolism and lead to this risk. This is why we made the decision to investigate leptin, the fat cell hormone.”

With additional study, the investigators wish to prove their suspicion true. If their results are confirmed, the study team says the present suggestions for vitamin B12 during pregnancy may have to be reviewed.