'Vitamin B12' deficiency during pregnancy may raise a new born's risk to 'type 2 diabetes'
'Vitamin B12' deficiency during pregnancy may raise a new born's risk to 'type 2 diabetes'

A new study finds that children born to mothers who have a vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is present in milk, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, and fish. It is also available as a dietary supplement.

According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin B12 helps with red blood cell formation and neurological functioning.

Dr. Saravanan and colleagues say previous research has shown that women with low vitamin B12 levels during pregnancy are more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) and have low-birth-weight babies with high cholesterol.

Dr. Saravanan and team wanted to find out whether these previous observations might be associated with leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells. Leptin tells us when it is time to stop eating.

Research has shown that excess weight can cause an increase in leptin levels. This can cause leptin resistance, which may lead to further overeating, weight gain, and insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that children born to mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency - defined as less than 150 picomoles per liter - were more likely to have higher-than-normal leptin levels, which may raise their risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

"The nutritional environment provided by the mother can permanently program the baby's health. We know that children born to under or overnourished mothers are at an increased risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, and we also see that maternal B12 deficiency may affect fat metabolism and contribute to this risk. This is why we decided to investigate leptin, the fat cell hormone." Dr. Ponusammy Saravanan

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