Other Nutritional Factors

Vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc have also been linked to NTDs. Lower maternal levels of white cell vitamin C were reported in affected compared to unaffected pregnancies in one small study. Large doses of natural or synthetic vitamin A consumed by the mother during pregnancy have been associated with congenital anomalies in her offspring. In a large US study of maternal vitamin A intake before and during early pregnancy, a total daily intake greater than 15 000IU was associated with an increased risk of birth defects, especially of structures arising from the cranial neural crest (cra-niofacial, central nervous system, thymic, and heart defects), but the risk of NTDs was not raised. However, these findings have been challenged. Children born to women who have vitamin A supplements at levels found in current multivitamin preparations have not been shown to be at increased risk of birth defects. Although several studies have linked zinc deficiency or abnormalities in zinc metabolism to NTDs, the results have not been consistent. The role of zinc in NTD aetiology requires further clarification. Research on the association between riboflavin and folate and homocysteine levels in people homozygous for the

Table 5 Maternal serum vitamin B12 (SB12) and central nervous system defects


Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Peanuts can leave you breathless. Cat dander can lead to itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing. And most of us have suffered through those seasonal allergies with horrible pollen counts. Learn more...

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