Maternal and infant vitamin B12 status and development

Article metrics

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Black, R. E. et al. Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet 382, 427–451 (2013).

  2. 2.

    Bhutta, Z. A. et al. Evidence-based interventions for improvement of maternal and child nutrition: what can be done and at what cost? Lancet 382, 452–477 (2013).

  3. 3.

    Strand, T. A., et al. Maternal and infant vitamin B12 status during infancy predict linear growth at 5 years. Pediatr Res in press (2018).

  4. 4.

    Smith, A. D. & Refsum, H. Do we need to reconsider the desirable blood level of vitamin B12? J. Intern. Med. 271, 179–182 (2012).

  5. 5.

    Smith, A. D., Warren, M. J. & Refsum, H. Vitamin B12. Adv. Food Nutr. Res. 83, 215–279 (2018).

  6. 6.

    Sukumar, N. et al. Prevalence of vitamin B-12 insufficiency during pregnancy and its effect on offspring birth weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 103, 1232–1251 (2016).

  7. 7.

    Sukumar, N. et al. Vitamin B12 status among pregnant women in the UK and its association with obesity and gestational diabetes. Nutrients 8, 768 (2016).

  8. 8.

    Rogne, T. et al. 2017 Associations of maternal vitamin B12 concentration in pregnancy with the risks of preterm birth and low birth weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. Am. J. Epidemiol. 185 212–223 (2017)

  9. 9.

    Lai, J. S. et al. High folate and low vitamin B12 status during pregnancy is associated with gestational diabetes mellitus. Clin. Nutr. 37, 940–947 (2018).

  10. 10.

    Dwarkanath, P. et al. High folate and low vitamin B-12 intakes during pregnancy are associated with small-for-gestational age infants in South Indian women: a prospective observational cohort study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 98, 1450–1458 (2013).

  11. 11.

    Yajnik, C. S. et al. Vitamin B12 and folate concentrations during pregnancy and insulin resistance in the offspring: the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study. Diabetologia 51, 29–38 (2008).

  12. 12.

    Bjorke-Monsen, A. L. & Ueland, P. M. Cobalamin status in children. J. Inherit. Metab. Dis. 34, 111–119 (2011).

  13. 13.

    Obeid, R., Murphy, M., Sole-Navais, P. & Yajnik, C. Cobalamin status from pregnancy to early childhood: lessons from global experience. Adv. Nutr. 8, 971–979 (2017).

  14. 14.

    Hay, G., Johnston, C., Whitelaw, A., Trygg, K. & Refsum, H. Folate and cobalamin status in relation to breastfeeding and weaning in healthy infants. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 88, 105–114 (2008).

  15. 15.

    Dror, D. K. & Allen, L. H. Vitamin B-12 in human milk: a systematic review. Adv. Nutr. 9, 358S–366S (2018).

  16. 16.

    Finkelstein, J. L., Layden, A. J. & Stover, P. J. Vitamin B-12 and perinatal health. Adv. Nutr. 6, 552–563 (2015).

  17. 17.

    Venkatramanan, S., Armata, I. E., Strupp, B. J. & Finkelstein, J. L. Vitamin B-12 and cognition in children. Adv. Nutr. 7, 879–888 (2016).

  18. 18.

    Molloy, A. M. et al. Maternal vitamin B12 status and risk of neural tube defects in a population with high neural tube defect prevalence and no folic acid fortification. Pediatrics 123, 917–923 (2009).

  19. 19.

    Wang, Z. P., Shang, X. X. & Zhao, Z. T. Low maternal vitamin B(12) is a risk factor for neural tube defects: a meta-analysis. J. Matern. Fetal Neonatal Med. 25, 389–394 (2012).

  20. 20.

    Tang, K. F., Li, Y. L. & Wang, H. Y. Quantitative assessment of maternal biomarkers related to one-carbon metabolism and neural tube defects. Sci. Rep. 5, 8510 (2015).

  21. 21.

    Thompson, M. D., Cole, D. E. & Ray, J. G. Vitamin B-12 and neural tube defects: the Canadian experience. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 89(Suppl), 697S–701S (2009).

  22. 22.

    Allagh, K. P. et al. Birth prevalence of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts in India: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 10, e0118961 (2015).

  23. 23.

    Bhate, V. et al. Vitamin B12 status of pregnant Indian women and cognitive function in their 9-year-old children. Food Nutr. Bull. 29, 249–254 (2008).

  24. 24.

    Honzik, T. et al. Clinical presentation and metabolic consequences in 40 breastfed infants with nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency--what have we learned? Eur. J. Paediatr. Neurol. 14, 488–495 (2010).

  25. 25.

    Goraya, J. S., Kaur, S. & Mehra, B. Neurology of nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in infants: case series from India and literature review. J. Child Neurol. 30, 1831–1837 (2015).

  26. 26.

    Dror, D. K. & Allen, L. H. Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanisms. Nutr. Rev. 66, 250–255 (2008).

  27. 27.

    Demir, N., Koc, A., Ustyol, L., Peker, E. & Abuhandan, M. Clinical and neurological findings of severe vitamin B deficiency in infancy and importance of early diagnosis and treatment. J. Paediatr. Child Health 48, 820–840 (2013).

  28. 28.

    Bhate, V. K. et al. Vitamin B12 and folate during pregnancy and offspring motor, mental and social development at 2 years of age. J. Dev. Orig. Health Dis. 3, 123–130 (2012).

  29. 29.

    Strand, T. A. et al. Cobalamin and folate status predicts mental development scores in North Indian children 12-18 mo of age. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 97, 310–317 (2013).

  30. 30.

    Kvestad, I. et al. Vitamin B-12 status in infancy is positively associated with development and cognitive functioning 5 y later in Nepalese children. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 105, 1122–1131 (2017).

  31. 31.

    Kvestad, I. et al. Vitamin B12 and folic acid improve gross motor and problem-solving skills in young North Indian children: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. PLoS ONE 10, e0129915 (2015).

  32. 32.

    Duggan, C. et al. Vitamin B-12 supplementation during pregnancy and early lactation increases maternal, breast milk, and infant measures of vitamin B-12 status. J. Nutr. 144, 758–764 (2014).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to A. David Smith.

Additional information

Publisher's note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark