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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Diabetologia
Title Vitamin B 12 and folate concentrations during pregnancy and insulin resistance in the offspring: the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study
Author(s)
Volume 51
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 29-38
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2100429/#CR13
Abstract
Aims/hypothesis
Raised maternal plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations predict small size at birth, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus. We studied the association between maternal vitamin B12, folate and tHcy status during pregnancy, and offspring adiposity and insulin resistance at 6 years.
Methods
In the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study we studied 700 consecutive eligible pregnant women in six villages. We measured maternal nutritional intake and circulating concentrations of folate, vitamin B12, tHcy and methylmalonic acid (MMA) at 18 and 28 weeks of gestation. These were correlated with offspring anthropometry, body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan) and insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-R]) at 6 years.
Results
Two-thirds of mothers had low vitamin B12 (<150 pmol/l), 90% had high MMA (>0.26 µmol/l) and 30% had raised tHcy concentrations (>10 µmol/l); only one had a low erythrocyte folate concentration. Although short and thin (BMI), the 6-year-old children were relatively adipose compared with the UK standards (skinfold thicknesses). Higher maternal erythrocyte folate concentrations at 28 weeks predicted higher offspring adiposity and higher HOMA-R (both p<0.01). Low maternal vitamin B12 (18 weeks; p=0.03) predicted higher HOMA-R in the children. The offspring of mothers with a combination of high folate and low vitamin B12 concentrations were the most insulin resistant.
Conclusions/interpretation
Low maternal vitamin B12 and high folate status may contribute to the epidemic of adiposity and type 2 diabetes in India.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-007-0793-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.

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