The Importance of Vitamin B12 in Preventing Neural Tube Defects

The Journal of Nutrition has published a study that looks at the amount of folate and vitamin B12 in the blood of non-pregnant women of reproductive age in Belize.

If women consume folic acid (the type of folate in vitamins) before and during pregnancy, this can help protect their babies from neural tube defects. Some previous research has also shown that women with low amounts of vitamin B12 in their blood shortly before and after conception might be at risk for having a child with a neural tube defect.

The recent study reported in Journal of Nutrition showed that many women in Belize had low amounts of folate and/or vitamin B12 in their blood. These results revealed that additional interventions are needed to promote adequate intake of both vitamins in order for women of reproductive age to have optimal amounts of each vitamin in their blood.