High folate, low vitamin B12 levels amplify gestational diabetes risk

High folate, low vitamin B12 levels amplify gestational diabetes risk (healio.com)

[Healio, 2/20/19]  Gestational diabetes risk can be increased by an imbalance in folate and vitamin B12 concentrations during pregnancy, according to findings published in the Journal of Diabetes.

“Recently, the role of folate and vitamin B12 on the development of [gestational diabetes] has emerged as a field of interest,” Qiang Zhang, PhD, an associate professor in the department of occupational and environmental health at the School of Public Health at Tianjin Medical University in China, and colleagues wrote. “Folate and vitamin B12 are metabolically entwined during 1-carbon metabolism. Both serve as cofactors in the synthesis of methionine from homocysteine (Hcy). Growing evidence indicates that Hcy concentrations are significantly elevated among women with [gestational diabetes].”

Zhang and colleagues recruited 406 pregnant women (mean age, 29.4 years) from the Beichen District Women’s and Children’s Health Center in Tianjin, China, for a cross-sectional study that aimed to analyze the potential link between gestational diabetes and folate and vitamin B12 levels. Each participant underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation to screen for gestational diabetes. At the screening time, folate, vitamin B12 and glucose concentrations were measured.

The researchers found a positive association between folate concentration and both 1-hour plasma glucose (P = .002) and 2-hour plasma glucose (P = .001), and also found a similar association between high folate to vitamin B12 ratios and high plasma glucose, both at 1 hour (P = .031) and 2 hours (P = .02). An opposite association was found for 1-hour plasma glucose and 2-hour plasma glucose with vitamin B12 levels, but not to a significant degree.

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