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Impaired Vitamin B6 And Folate Status Linked To Low Birth Weights


“A new prospective cohort study finds that low vitamin B6 and impaired folate levels were associated with low birth weights in the south Indian pregnant women studied.”


Maintaining proper nutrition during pregnancy is vital for ensuring an optimum birth weight. Research shows that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids during the third trimester of pregnancy may prolong gestation and increase the birth weights of newborns, for example. Conversely, pregnant women who have low plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids during their first and second trimesters are at significantly higher risk of having an early preterm birth.

Worryingly, therefore, evidence suggests that large numbers of pregnant women don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their daily diets. A study carried out in New Zealand found that only 30 percent of pregnant women obtain a sufficient amount.

But ensuring that a mother gives birth to a healthy baby is not only about getting enough vitamin B6, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. To the contrary, ensuring a proper intake of all the various essential micronutrients is vital for the developing fetus. This is because an inadequate supply of micronutrients can affect the health, organ systems, and even survival of the baby. Moreover, the way a baby’s organs develop during pregnancy can also determine how their growth continues after it is born.

To learn more about the importance of micronutrients during pregnancy, read parts one and two of the special pregnancy feature article on our website.