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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin b12 and folic acid’

Vitamin B12 for Baby Planning, Preventing Birth Defects

Thursday, November 14th, 2013



Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients you can take if you’re planning a baby. In countless studies, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with fertility-related problems, along with spontaneous abortion and miscarriage during pregnancy. Even if your vitamin B12 levels are tested as normal, you may require an elevated amount to provide your unborn child with optimum health benefits and insure a normal delivery.

Vitamin B12 is Crucial for Baby Planning and Preventing Birth Defects

Neural tube defects

In a study led by the National Institutes of Health it was discovered that women who have abnormally low levels of serum vitamin B12 (cobalamin) before even planning a baby are more likely than others to deliver a baby with neural tube birth defects.

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

One such disorder, spina bifida, is five times more likely to occur when vitamin B12 deficiency is evident before conception.


Vitamin B12 helps your body control levels of homocysteine, a hormone linked with increased risk for preeclampsia and miscarriage, in addition to heart attack and stroke.

In a study that examined vitamin B12 deficiency and its effect on fertility in women of child-bearing age, scientists found that vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency together can lead to miscarriages caused by thrombophilia (blood clotting).

Also, it was confirmed that the majority of female test subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency suffered multiple miscarriages, spontaneous abortions, and difficulty conceiving.

When vitamin B12 supplements were administered, however, researchers noted a decrease in homocysteine that led to more positive results in childbearing.

Furthermore, doctors warn that taking too much folic acid during your pregnancy may hide symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it harder to detect and treat.


Before planning a baby, and additionally during your pregnancy, submit a blood test for vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 blood tests are not among the standard screenings given to pregnant women, so you may have to make a special request.

Also, be on the lookout for telltale symptoms, such as crushing fatigue, long-lasting depression, brain fog, slow thinking, and constant “pins and needles” in your hands and feet.

If you’re pregnant, then you should take all the vitamins that your doctor prescribes, including folic acid to prevent birth defects. In addition to that, it’s crucial to get plenty of vitamin B12, as a deficiency in B12 levels will not be apparent even in a blood test, due to the effects of folic acid.

There’s no upper limit for vitamin B12- all amounts are perfectly safe- but the standard dose is 1,000mic, to be taken daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, or as recommended by your physician.

Please tell us…

If you had vitamin B12 deficiency during your pregnancy, were you aware of it at the time?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Vitamin B12- Good for your Libido!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Image courtesy of -Marcus-/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid- What’s the Connection?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012



Vitamin B12 and folic acid are both B vitamins that are essential for many important biochemical reactions in the body. Oftentimes, vitamin B12 and folic acid work together in a symbiotic relationship to supply energy and prevent nerve damage resulting from vitamin deficiencies. So, how do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin B12 and folic acid? Here are some clues…

Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid- What’s the Connection? B12 Patch



Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and folic essential are both instrumental in regulating healthy red blood cell production. Likewise, when vitamin B12 and folic acid levels plummet, the result is a decline in red blood cells, which in turn leads to reduced levels of oxygen in the body. Symptoms of vitamin B12 and folic acid anemia may include fatigue, disorientation, and muscle weakness resulting from severe oxygen depletion.

Causes of vitamin B12 and folic acid anemia include malnutrition, autoimmune disorder, or damage to the digestive system.

Treatment: Always eat plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid, including fortified cereals, milk, meat, fish, and grain products. Alternatively, if you are unable to digest vitamin B12 from food sources, then it is crucial to supplement with both folic acid and vitamin B12 each day.

Vitamin Deficiency symptoms List

Vitamin B12 deficiency and folate

Sometimes, the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia) are masked by supplementation of folate. Large doses of folic acid may cure pernicious anemia by restoring red blood cells, without reversing the symptoms of nerve damage that also occur with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Worse, scientists believe that high levels of folic acid in the blood may also worsen cognitive impairments associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, such as memory loss, attention disorders, and confusion.

Treatment: In order to detect vitamin B12 deficiency when it occurs, doctors recommend taking no more than 1,000mcg of folic acid each day.

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Heart health

Vitamin B12 and folic acid are both instrumental in lowering levels of homocysteine, a hormone linked with increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Several studies focusing on patients of heart disease and stroke found positive results with supplementation of folic acid and vitamin B12 in lowering homocysteine levels.

Treatment: While vitamin B12 and folic acid are not known to prevent heart attack or stroke, there are numerous cardiovascular health benefits associated with vitamin supplementation, including reduced levels of homocysteine, DNA synthesis, increased energy, and overall feelings of wellness that contribute to stress management.

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

9 Vitamin Deficiencies and the People who are affected by them

Folic Acid and B12: Your Nerves Need Both to Thrive


Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12- Health Professional Fact Sheet

Anaemia, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

Three of the B Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Folic Acid and B12: Your Nerves Need Both to Thrive

Thursday, March 24th, 2011



Folic acid (vitamin B-6), the synthetic version of folate, has been instrumental in reducing the number of neural tube birth defects, ever since the US government  mandated that all breads and other grain products be infused with this essential B vitamin; pregnant women are strongly advised to include folate supplementation in their diet.

But folic acid alone is ineffective in nourishing the nervous system; for that, it requires help from vitamin B12.

Folic acid + B12 = healthy nerves

A study found that both folic acid and vitamin B12, taken together, produced the most beneficial results in regards to nerve function.

  • A Tufts University study examined 1,459 individuals over the age of 60.
  • 25% had vitamin B12 deficiency, and likewise scored poorly on mental acuity testing.
  • Of the participants who has B12 deficiency, the ones who also had folic acid deficiency turned out the worst scores- 5 times below the average for healthy individuals of that age.
  • The elderly are particularly at risk because of their inability to utilize B12 vitamins naturally.
  • According to the Journal of American Medical Association, folic acid and vitamin B12 taken together may be used to treat heart disease and reduce the number of related deaths in the US.
  • Clinical research has shown that folic acid is effective for reducing homocysteine levels, a precursor to heart disease, but that the addition of vitamin B12 accounts for an extra 7% success rate.

Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in meat, fish, dairy and egg products. Vegans and vegetarians must rely on B12 supplements in order to avoid B12 deficiency.

Folic acid is found in all cereals, baked goods and other grain products, ever since the US government ruled back in 1998 that it be included in order to prevent birth defects.


Science Daily, the Journal of American Medical Association, Oprah.com

    Eating Your Way Out of Depression with B-12

    Thursday, March 10th, 2011

    We’ve all heard of overeaters binging themselves into a state of depression- a vicious circle which is difficult to get out of. But eating for happiness?

    Vitamin B-12 deficiency is linked with depression

    Vitamin B12 is essential for many aspects of brain development, such as myelination (the production of a protective layer around the brain) and the distributing of neurotransmitters to and from the brain. So it comes as no surprise that the Mayo Clinic suggests eating foods rich in vitamin B-12 as a means of preventing the onset of clinical depression.

    “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”

    That’s a great motto if you happen to be an android. The fact is, eating is a sensual experience which we were meant to enjoy. (Why else would we have taste buds?) The key to good nutrition is finding foods you love that will love you right back.

    Male depression is on the rise. Is it the recession or “Manpression?

    Here are some yummy appetizers and entrées which are naturally high in vitamin B-12:

    • Fish tacos- Made popular by Rubio’s, the fish tacos is a tasty fusion of Cal-Mex and seafood cuisine.  Take a soft flour tortilla, add some fiery mango salsa, a dab of sour cream and a grilled fish fillet (hint: salmon is high in B-12).  It’s a wrap!
    • Are you a Sushi lover? Then you’re going to love this- sushi and sashimi recipes typically include such high-in-B12 ingredients as roe (fish eggs), octopus, crab, shrimp, and mackerel. Pass the soy sauce!
    • New England clam chowder- just the name elicits images of salty sea breezes, sailboats and clam bakes. Don’t have any recipes handy? Here is a list of variations on this classic soup recipe.
    • Lean cuts of lamb are high in vitamin B-12 and a popular staple of many Middle Eastern cuisines. Here is a flavorful Lamb Moussaka recipe, as featured in epicurious.
    • Tuna casserole is one of America’s fave comfort foods and it’s simple to make- combine canned tuna, cooked broad noodles, and a can of concentrated mushroom soup. Top it with some fried onions and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Tuna is high in B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Hamburgers barbecued with low-fat ground beef chuck are a great source of vitamin B-12. Serve it up on whole-grain buns with a side of oven roasted root veggies for a healthy upgrade from the typical artery-clogging burgers ‘n fries.




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