Effects of vitamins B6, B12 and C in pregnancy

Shokrani, S.
June 2014
Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine;Jun2014 Supplement, Vol. 12, p124
Academic Journal
Introduction: The water-soluble vitamins B6, B12 and C play important roles in maternal health as well as fetal development and physiology during gestation. This systematic review evaluates the risks and benefits of interventions with vitamins B6, B12 and C during pregnancy on maternal, neonatal and child health. Materials and Methods: Relevant publications were identified by searching PubMed and Web of Science databases. Results:Supplementation with vitamin B6 during pregnancy may reduce symptoms of nausea and vomiting, improve dental health, treat some cases of maternal anaemia, and reduce the incidence of some congenital abnormalities, though additional research is needed to confirm these results. In meta-analysis vitamin B6 supplementation had a significant positive effect on birthweight. Conclusion: Interventions with vitamin C alone or combined with vitamin E did not systematically reduce the incidence of pre-eclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, or other adverse pregnancy outcomes. In meta-analyses, vitamins C and E increased the risk of pregnancy-related hypertension.Other effects of vitamin C or C and E intervention on maternal and neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth, birthweight, and perinatal morbidity and mortality, were not significant. Deficiency of vitamin B12 is highly prevalent in women of reproductive age, especially amongst populations with limited intake of animal source foods. To determine whether improvement of maternal status reduces the incidence of NTDs in the offspring, increases breast milk vitamin B12 content during lactation, and improves infant vitamin B12 status, RCTs with vitamin B12 supplementation during the periconceptual period and pregnancy are necessary.


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