A low folate or low thiamine status may be associated with the risk of preterm delivery, small for gestational age (SGA) offspring and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) and thiamine diphosphate (TDP) were measured directly in cord-blood erythrocytes (CBEs) of early preterm (n=26; <32 weeks gestational age; including 50% multiple births), late preterm (n=38; 32 to <37 weeks; including 24% multiple births) and term newborns (n=60, 37–42 weeks) via high-performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence detection. Associations between 5MTHF and TDP with gestational age, newborn anthropometrics (birth weight, newborn’s length and head circumference) and risk of being SGA were explored.
Group comparison as well as multivariate linear regression analysis of cord-blood vitamins revealed that 5MTHF was significantly lower in late preterms compared with terms but did not differ between singletons and multiples. TDP tended to be higher in preterms than in terms and lower in multiples than in singletons in both early and late preterms. Multivariate analysis on birth outcomes showed that 5MTHF was significantly positively associated with gestational age, birth weight and newborn’s length. 5MTHF, increasing gestational age and parity were associated with a significantly reduced risk for being SGA, while TDP, multiple births and gender were not associated with the risk for being SGA.
Higher CBE concentrations of 5MTHF were associated with improved birth outcomes. Lower TDP concentrations were observed in multiple births. Future studies evaluating cord-blood vitamin concentrations and their associations with birth outcomes should additionally include dietary intakes and maternal blood concentrations at different stages of pregnancy.
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This study was supported by an institutional grant (project no. E1100008) from the joint Center for Nutritional Medicine (Zentrum für Ernaehrungsmedizin, ZEM) of the University of Hohenheim and the University of Tuebingen, Germany. The project with the working title ‘Deficiency of choline and methylene donors in preterm newborns’ (W. Bernhard/N. Breusing) was approved for the 2009/2010 research period under the subject ‘Malnutrition/Clinical nutrition’. We thank Franziska Goepke for the measurement of TDP.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Weber, D., Stuetz, W., Bernhard, W. et al. 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate and thiamine diphosphate in cord-blood erythrocytes of preterm versus term newborns. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 1029–1035 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2013.158
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