Hyderabad: Women with low Vitamin B12 intake levels are more likely to deliver children susceptible to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, states a new study. Scientists say women with high levels of an amino acid homocysteine have a higher probability of delivering low weight or obese babies, who are at higher risks of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Researchers from the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Pune-based KEM Hospital and Research Centre have been studying the relationship between the protein homocysteine in women and its relationship with the birth weight of their children. It is also an accepted fact that mother’s nutrition plays a vital role in the development of a baby in the womb.
But scientists have now established a more concrete relationship between nutrition levels of women and the risks that their to-be-born children face. “We have shown that increased homocysteine levels in pregnant women lead to low birth weight or obese children. But this increased homocysteine level is caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency in women,” said Dr G.R. Chandak, senior principal scientist, CCMB.
Dr Chandak, however, added that there is no one-to-one relationship between these but Vitamin B12 is one of the strongest factors that control homocysteine levels. Difference of about 110-150 grams of weight in newborn babies has been observed with the lowest and highest homocysteine levels.
Homocysteine levels are connected to folate and Vitamin B12 intake in women. “In Western countries, it is more linked to folate levels. But in India, it is found that Vitamin B12 plays a more important role in regulating homocysteine levels. Women should be given more B12 during pregnancy,” said Dr Ch. Mohan Rao, director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology...