A new set of research has analysed the effects of low levels of vitamin B12 in the blood system of women who are planning to conceive or who are already pregnant.
It was found that women with insufficient B12 in their blood stream, run higher risks of giving birth to babies with spinal cord or brain imperfections, this can cause partial paralysis and even lead to death.
Those women who are more susceptible to lack in B12 are vegetarians, because B12 vitamins are generally found in food products derived from animals.
Vitamin B12 is at the basis of the correct functioning of the nervous system and the manufacturing of the red blood cells, women who have deficiency in the vitamin will incur in health problems and are more likely to give birth to babies with severe birth imperfections.
Researchers studied the level of B12 in the blood systems of women before pregnancy, and noted that those with deficient levels of B12 had a five-fold chance of giving birth to babies with neural tube problems.
Both vitamin B12 and foliate acid are essential elements in the development of the babyâ€™s nervous system, and the insufficient amount of one or either of these, will increase the risk of defects in babies.
Experts, therefore highly recommend that all women who intend to conceive should make sure their levels of vitamin B12 are higher than 300 ng/L before doing so; in addition they should take a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid supplement