Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble B vitaminthat we need to consume from our diet, our bodies do not make B12. It plays a key role in the normal functioning of your nervous system as well as the maturation of red blood cells in your bone marrow.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the growth and development of your own body and your unborn babies nervous system, not to mention a healthy blood supply.
In a study by Gardiner, P., M et al (2008), the researchers suggestthat women thinking of becoming pregnant need to achieve and maintain a good nutritional status, for the health of themselves and their unborn baby.
Yajnik, C., S et al (2008), found women with low vitamin B12 were more likely to have a smaller baby at birth, a baby who is insulin resistant or carry a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Adequate levels of vitamin B12 decreasethe risk of serious birth defectsof the brain and spinal chord to your unborn child.
Folate is a B Vitamin and our bodies use this vitamin to make new cells. It is recommended by Gardnier, P., M et al (2008) for women to increase their RDI of folic acid (synthetic form of folate) to 400mcg per day at least 3 montsh before trying to fall pregnant, 600mcg during pregnancy and if you have a history of a baby born with neural tube defects, the RDI is 4000mcg.
What can I do?
- Consume legumes, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, lamb, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, sweet potato, beets, rock melon, oranges, berries, which are all high in folate.
- Consume foods high in B12 such as meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, shellfish.
- Limit exposure to toxic substances such as chemicals in foods, air toxins such as cleaning supplies and pollutants, tap water/contaminated water with chemicals, some cosmetics, as this can interfere with your livers detoxification process and cause the pathway thatbreaks down folate to be disrupted.
- Eat a whole foods diet with minimal processed or packaged foods
- Take a comprehensive prenatal and pregnancy multivitamin
If you are unsure what supplement to use, please speak with your nutritionist today, and they can guide you to the best option.
If you’re also into your own research check out the link to discover reviews on vitamins used for pregnancy.
Yajnik, C., S ,Deshpande, S, S., Jackson, A., A., Refsum , H., Rao, S., Fisher , D, J., Bhat, S, D., Naik, S., S., Coyaji, K, J., Joglekar , C., V., Joshi, N., Lubree , H., G., Deshpande, , V., Rege, S, S., Fall, C, H, D 2008. Vitamin B12 and folate concentrations during pregnancy and insulin resistance in the offspring: the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study‘Diabetologia’5, 29–38.
Gardiner, P, M., Nelson, L., Shellhaas, C, S., Dunlop, A, L., Long, R., Andrist, S., Jack, B, W., 2008. The clinical content of preconception care: nutrition and dietary supplements ‘American Journal of Obsterics&Gynecology’ 199, 6, S345-S356.