Low maternal vitamin B-12 status is associated with offspring insulin resistance regardless of antenatal micronutrient supplementation in rural Nepal.
Questions have been raised about potentially negative effects of antenatal folic acid use in populations with a high prevalence of vitamin B-12 deficiency. Our objective was to examine the association between maternal folate and vitamin B-12 status in pregnancy on offspring insulin resistance and examine whether the effects of maternal micronutrient supplementation varied by baseline maternal folate and/or vitamin B-12 status. Pregnant women were cluster randomized to receive daily supplements containing vitamin A alone or with folic acid, folic acid+iron, folic acid+iron+zinc, or a multiple micronutrient. In a subsample (n = 1132), micronutrient status biomarkers were analyzed at baseline and late pregnancy. Children born to the women who participated in the trial were visited at 6-8 y of age. Fasting plasma glucose and insulin were used to estimate insulin resistance using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Children whose mothers were deficient in vitamin B-12 (<148 pmol/L, 27%) during early pregnancy had a 26.7% increase in HOMA-IR (P = 0.02), but there was no association with maternal folate status. Among children born to women who were vitamin B-12 deficient at baseline, the percent difference in HOMA-IR compared to the control group was 15.1% (95% CI: -35.9, 106.4), 4.9% (-41.6, 88.5), 3.3% (-38.4, 73.5), and 18.1% (-29.0, 96.7) in the folic acid, folic acid-iron, folic acid-iron-zinc, and multiple micronutrient supplementation groups, respectively, none of which were significant. Maternal vitamin B-12 deficiency is associated with an elevated risk of insulin resistance, but supplementation with folic acid or other micronutrients led to no significant change in insulin resistance in school-aged offspring.
Program in International and Community Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. email@example.com, , , , ,
Folic Acid Deficiency
Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
Pub Type(s)Comparative Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't