Does Vitamin B-12 Status during Pregnancy affect Child’s IQ?

Did you know that this week we celebrate brain awareness? And did you know that studies have shown that Vitamin B12 seems to contribute to higher IQ in children? A study conducted by the department of pharmacology at the University of Oxford found that children born to mothers with a higher dietary intake of vitamin B12 had a slightly higher IQ than other children, and that those with mothers carrying putative vitamin B12-increasing alleles were more likely to have a higher IQ than those born to mothers without these alleles. This study collected extensive data from the mothers and their offspring from pregnancy onwards by questionnaire, abstraction from medical notes, record linkage and by attendance at research clinics. Cognitive testing was carried out by trained psychologists during a clinic visit when the children were 8 years old using a shortened version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III). Psychologists found that on average, children had higher IQ scores when their mothers presented higher levels of vitamin B12 during gestation.

If you are pregnant, or trying to conceive, you know that taking folate is essential for the healthy development of your baby. But according to the World Health Organization, vitamin B12 is just as important in preventing neural tube and other neurological defects in infants and unfortunately as many as 1 in 20 adults is deficient in this essential vitamin. Vitamin B12 is also important because it helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. A vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with increased risk for several adverse pregnancy outcomes for both mother and fetus. These risks include neural tube defects, intrauterine growth retardation, preeclampsia and early miscarriage. If you’d like to know more about Vitamin B12, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.

Reference:

Vitamin B-12 Status during Pregnancy and Child’s IQ at Age 8: A Mendelian Randomization Study in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3515553/pdf/pone.0051084.pdf

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