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B12 Shortage Cited In Pregnancy Issues

Vitamin B12 has long been known to be a key player in the efficiency of our metabolism, aiding the absorption of vital nutrients from the food we eat and purging toxins. But, now, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, say it is also important for the health of pregnant women…

Premature Baby in Incubator - © tqn.comPremature baby in an incubator. More B12 in Mom’s diet
might have helped avoid the early birth.

I remember a poignant scene in a movie about the celebrity lifestyle in California, in which a local MD makes a fortune specializing in giving vitamin shots to big-name actors and performers to help them, fight off the effects of over-partying and under-sleeping. This was back in the days when ‘over-partying’ was a generally considered to mean having a hangover the next day. The doctor’s weapon of choice against such evils was – Vitamin B12! That’s right. Out with the bad stuff, in with the good. Get your system going.

Now, a new Norwegian study of 11,216 pregnancies in 11 countries has yielded up some important conclusions about the importance of B12 to expectant mothers.

The lowdown…

A Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia and severe damage to the nervous system. Anemia is something doctors are particularly concerned about in pregnant women. Iron supplements are often prescribed. But B12’s effects are broader.

Doctors also note that B12 is not produced in the body like some other vitamins. You have to get it by eating sufficient amounts of animal protein, such as Red Meat, Milk and Eggs. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, you have to take your B12 supplements religiously. Or get rundown from anemia or worse.

B12 deficiency in pregnant women has specific effects aside from those just discussed. The Norwegian researchers discovered that mothers with a B12 deficiency were 21 per cent more likely to give birth to pre-term babies than those who had sufficient B12. And other research has shown that low birth weight and preterm births cause half of all infant deaths in the first 28 days after birth.

A global problem

This is particularly troubling in poorer countries and cultures with Vegetarian traditions. These folks either can’t afford supplements or simply don’t know they should be taking them. Also, Vegans are more at risk than Vegetarians, the Norwegian study notes, because they eat no animal-based foods at all. Many Vegetarians at least drink Milk and eat Eggs.


Expectant moms could do much worse than to celebrate their pregnancy with a nice, big Steak Dinner! Or, at least a big glass of Milk…

~ Maggie J.