Obesity During Pregnancy Might Be Caused by Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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Obesity during pregnancy might be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, say the results of a new study released during the annual conference of the Society for Endocrinology.

Pregnant women that had low levels of vitamin B12 had metabolic markers that usually indicate increased fat production and reduced breakdown. This means that obesity during pregnancy might be connected to low levels of this vitamin. The deficiency tends to impair fat metabolism.

Obesity during pregnancy has long-term effects

So if you’re pregnant and you want to avoid obesity during pregnancy, you should enrich your diet with seafood, meat, eggs, and dairy products. This micronutrient is essential for many metabolic reactions that keep your body in ship shape. Carbs and highly processed foods do not provide appropriate nutrition, especially during pregnancy.

About 25 percent of pregnant women worldwide are vitamin B12 defficient, which, let’s face it, is a whole lot! The baby also needs vitamin B12 for growth and development.

Jinous Samavat of the University of Warwick Medical School investigated how the low vitamin B12 levels affect fat cell function – both in cultured cell samples and in samples taken from pregnant women. The results showed that fat tissues function was abnormal. The bodies could not break down fat for energy. But also, there was increased inflammation.

“Taken together, our data indicate that low B12 levels can impair fat cell metabolism, which may lead to increased fat accumulation, impaired fat metabolism and inflammatory damage, all of which predispose to weight gain,” Samavat said.

“Our findings reinforce the need for vitamin B12 supplementation during pregnancy and make a strong case for funding further studies and introducing public health policies, to help tackle obesity,” Samavat added.


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