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.
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.
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.
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