Could Pregnant Women Lessen Risk of Diabetes with Vitamin B12?
Warwick along with King Edward Memorial Hospital and the University of Southhampton wants to enlist 4,500 early-stage pregnant women for studying if vitamin B12 and other micro-nutrients can lower the risk for them developing GDM (gestational diabetes).
The number of women developing GDM is on the rise, along with the many health complication that can happen for not only the mother, but also the baby. 70% of the women with GDM will wind up developing type 2 diabetes. Babies born to mothers dealing with the GDM will be more at risk for being obese or having diabetes in adulthood.
Warwick Medical School's Dr. Ponnusamy Saravanan stated that this new study would build upon previous ones that show the risk of contracting diabetes begins in the womb. "This research will study pregnant women and follow the growth and development of their babies. The current research is funded until childbirth and we hope to closely follow up both mothers and baby beyond," as stated by Saravanan.
She goes on to talk about the earlier studies performed in India shows that pregnant women that had low levels of vitamin B12 had babies that had feature indicating that they could develop cardiovascular diseases and diabetes shortly after being born and by 6 years of age.
He thinks the vitamins (micro-nutrients of the woman's diet could greatly affect how her DNA functions, and the results could be the determining factor on whether a baby will grow up to be overweight in adulthood. This early womb growth is thought of as crucial to setting the stage for adult health.
Dr. Saravanan, in the end, would like to reach a day when along with folic acid that vitamin B12 supplements would be recommended nationally for pregnant women. It is after all fairly affordable to not only produce, but also to distribute. If research can prove the long-term benefits for health, vitamin B12 just might be the secret to preventive health care for years to come.
Dr. Saravanan has come to the conclusion that the country is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Each generation brings a more problematic overweight issue and the health conditions linked to is such as heart disease and diabetes.
He said there is a need for more preventive measures to keep these conditions from happening in the first place so that the health of the nation is improved now and in the future. The cost of NHS treatment should also be reduced and the research we are doing hopes to work toward this goal.