Lack of vitamin B12 linked to repeat miscarriage

May 8, 2001 in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Lack of vitamin B12 linked to repeat miscarriage

Women who are deficient in vitamin B12 may be at risk for infertility or repeat miscarriages, but in many cases they can prevent these occurrences with vitamin therapy, an Israeli researchers report.

In the study, 14 women with infertility or repeated miscarriages who were found to be deficient in vitamin B12. The nutrient plays a key role in the nervous system and the development of new tissue, and is also crucial in ovulation. Women who are deficient may not ovulate, for instance, or a fertilized egg may not develop, resulting in miscarriage.

Ten of the women conceived after beginning vitamin therapy; six of these women conceived almost immediately. Seven of the women were found to have mutations in a gene involved in metabolism of folate. That, combined with the B12 deficiency, increased their risk of thrombophilia, a condition in which increases the risk of clot formation. Six other women were found to have other causes of thrombophilia.

Correcting a B12 deficiency may rapidly lead to a normal pregnancy. This study illustrates the importance of measuring B12 levels in women investigated for infertility or recurrent miscarriage.

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