Longitudinal concentrations of vitamin B(12) and vitamin B(12)-binding proteins during uncomplicated pregnancy

C. Koebnick*, U.A. Heins, P.C. Dagnelie, S.N. Wickramasinghe, I.D. Ratnayaka, T. Hothorn, A.B. Pfahlberg, I. Hoffmann, J. Lindemans, C. Leitzmann

*Corresponding author for this work

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BACKGROUND: Because reference values for vitamin B(12) concentrations and vitamin B(12)-binding capacities for pregnant women have not been established, the reference values for nonpregnant women are often applied to assess vitamin B(12) status. The aim of the present study was to describe ranges of biochemical indices of vitamin B(12) status, including red blood cell (RBC) vitamin B(12), saturated and unsaturated cobalamin-binding proteins, and binding capacities in all trimesters of uncomplicated pregnancy. METHODS: A total of 39 healthy pregnant women with long-term daily intake of vitamin B(12) >2.6 microg/day and uncomplicated pregnancies participated in the study throughout their pregnancies. RBCs and serum vitamin B(12), holo-haptocorrin, unsaturated cobalamin-binding proteins, unsaturated and total vitamin B(12)-binding capacities, total homocysteine (tHcy), and RBC count were assessed in weeks 9-12, 20-22, and 36-38 of gestation. RESULTS: Significant changes in vitamin B(12) status occurred in the course of pregnancy. Serum vitamin B(12) concentrations and percentage of saturation of vitamin B(12)-binding proteins decreased steadily throughout pregnancy. In the third trimester, 35% of the participants had serum vitamin B(12) concentrations <150 pmol/L and 68.6% had <15% saturation of total vitamin B(12)-binding capacities, but no women had RBC vitamin B(12) concentrations <148 pmol/L. However, the decrease in these indices was not associated with reduced hemoglobin concentrations or RBC count or with increased tHcy concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the reference values for vitamin B(12) status in nonpregnant women may not be applicable to pregnant women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-933
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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