Vitamin B12 May Be As Important as Folic Acid to Prevent Neural Tube Defects
A recent study looked at other potential markers of neural tube defects (NTD) besides folic acid. Of course by now we hope that any woman who may possibly conceive should be taking Folic Acid supplementation. It has been a well accepted fact that low levels of folate increases the risk of NTDs. And if a woman doesn’t begin taking folate until after she discovers she is pregnant it is already too late. The neural tube closes at 4 weeks so the body needs adequate amounts before conception. Now another study is showing that Vitamin B12 is also needed. B12 and folate work together and as b12 is needed to methylate folate to its active form. (tetrahydrofolate). Thus if b12 is deficient but folate sufficient there will be a buildup of inactive folate in the body. This study (B12 and NTDs) concluded that there was an almost tripling in risk of NTD in low B12 status independent of replete folate status.
There are several research articles popping up showing the importance of B12. The conventional belief taught in biochem textbooks is that the body recycles b12 and we don’t need much of it. However numerous studies and clinical evidence has shown that b12 supplementation can help with a host of ailments including neuropathy, memory loss, fatigue etc. I do like using short term supplementation of a sublingual b12 2000 mcg of methylcobalamin.
Licensed Acupuncturist & Nutritionist Dietitian
Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, & Nutrition
Boston, Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Massachusetts
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