Homocysteine concentration, related B vitamins, and betaine in pregnant women recruited to the Seychelles Child Development Study.
Citation:J.M. Wallace, M.P. Bonham, J. Strain, E.M. Duffy, P.J. Robson, M. Ward, H. McNulty, P.W.Davidson, G.J. Myers, C.F. Shamlaye, T.W. Clarkson, A.M. Molloy, J.M. Scott, P.M. Ueland., Homocysteine concentration, related B vitamins, and betaine in pregnant women recruited to the Seychelles Child Development Study., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87, 2, 2008, 391 - 397
Homocysteine concentration, related B vitamins, and betaine in pregnant women recruited to the Seychelles Child Development Study.pdf (published (publisher copy) peer-reviewed) 332.6Kb
BACKGROUND: Both folate and betaine are important predictors of total homocysteine (tHcy) during pregnancy. However, studies to date have only been undertaken in populations with Western dietary patterns. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the predictors of tHcy in pregnant women recruited in the Seychelles, a population where access to fortified foods is limited and where women habitually consume diets rich in fish, eggs, rice, and fruit. DESIGN: Pregnant women (n = 226) provided blood samples at enrollment, at week 28 of gestation, and at delivery. Cord blood was obtained from a subset of participants (n = 135). RESULTS: As in other studies, maternal tHcy was lower during pregnancy than at delivery, whereas folate and vitamin B-12 status declined significantly to delivery. Despite low maternal folate status at delivery (median: 9.0 nmol/L), with 35% of women in the deficient range (serum folate: <6.8 nmol/L), cord blood folate status (median: 40.2 nmol/L) was similar to concentrations reported in Western populations. Folate was a significant predictor of tHcy at all time points (P < 0.001). In contrast with previous studies, betaine was only a significant predictor of maternal tHcy (P < 0.001) when the essential amino acid methionine was low. CONCLUSIONS: The current study reports 2 important findings. First, fetal requirements for folate are paramount, such that cord blood folate status is maintained, even when maternal status is low. Second, betaine is a significant predictor of tHcy in pregnant women with low serum folate and low serum methionine concentrations.
PubMed ID: 18258630
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Availability:Full text available