Lower Circulating B12 Is Associated with Higher Obesity and Insulin Resistance during Pregnancy in a Non-Diabetic White British Population
Knight, Bridget A.
Shields, Beverley M
Bhat, D. S.
Hattersley, Andrew T.
Yajnik, C. S.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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OBJECTIVE: Vitamin B12 and folate are critical micronutrients needed to support the increased metabolic demands of pregnancy. Recent studies from India have suggested that low vitamin B12 and folate concentrations in pregnancy are associated with increased obesity; however differences in diet, antenatal vitamin supplementation, and socioeconomic status may limit the generalisability of these findings. We aimed to explore the cross-sectional relationship of circulating serum vitamin B12 and folate at 28 weeks' gestation with maternal adiposity and related biochemical markers in a white non diabetic UK obstetric cohort. METHODS: Anthropometry and biochemistry data was available on 995 women recruited at 28 weeks gestation to the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health. Associations between B12 and folate with maternal BMI and other obesity-related biochemical factors (HOMA-R, fasting glucose, triglycerides, HDL and AST) were explored using regression analysis, adjusting for potential confounders (socioeconomic status, vegetarian diet, vitamin supplementation, parity, haemodilution (haematocrit)). RESULTS: Higher 28 week BMI was associated with lower circulating vitamin B12 (r = -0.25; P<0.001) and folate (r = -0.15; P<0.001). In multiple regression analysis higher 28 week BMI remained an independent predictor of lower circulating B12 (beta (95% CI) = -0.59 (-0.74, -0.44) i.e. for every 1% increase in BMI there was a 0.6% decrease in circulating B12). Other markers of adiposity/body fat metabolism (HOMA-R, triglycerides and AST) were also independently associated with circulating B12. In a similar multiple regression AST was the only independent obesity-related marker associated with serum folate (beta (95% CI) = 0.16 (0.21, 0.51)). CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our study has replicated the previous Indian findings of associations between lower serum B12 and higher obesity and insulin resistance during pregnancy in a non-diabetic White British population. These findings may have important implications for fetal and maternal health in obese pregnancies.