Randomized Trial of Vitamin B12 in Pregnant Indian Women

14:38 EDT 1st September 2014 | BioPortfolio


This study is a randomized, double-blind trial among 300 pregnant Indian women in order to determine the effectiveness of vitamin B12 supplementation in improving maternal B12 status. Secondary aims for this trial include maternal hemoglobin, maternal weight gain during pregnancy and infant birthweight. All women will receive standard of prenatal obstetric care, including routine supplementation with iron and folate.


The incidence of poor fetal growth and adverse maternal and infant birth outcomes is quite high in India, and several lines of evidence suggest that maternal nutritional status may be an important factor. We have previously performed extensive evaluations of poor fetal and infant outcomes in other settings, and found that maternal micronutrient supplementation (B vitamins including vitamin B12, plus vitamins C and E) in HIV positive Tanzanian mothers decreased the risk of low birthweight (<2500 g) by 44% (RR (95% CI) 0.56 (0.38-0.82)), severe preterm birth (<34 weeks of gestation) by 39% (RR 0.61 (0.38-0.96)), and small size for gestational age at birth by 43% (RR 0.57 (0.39-0.82)). In a prospective cohort study of 410 pregnant Indian women, we recently found a strong relationship between maternal serum vitamin B12 concentration and risk of infant intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). Compared to women in the highest tertile of serum B12 concentration, women in the lowest tertile were significantly more likely to have IUGR infants, after controlling for maternal age, weight, education, and parity (OR (95% CI) 5.98 (1.72-20.74)). We now propose a randomized, double-blind trial among 300 pregnant Indian women in order to determine the effectiveness of vitamin B12 supplementation (50 µg daily) in improving maternal B12 status. Secondary aims for this exploratory trial include maternal hemoglobin, maternal weight gain during pregnancy and infant birthweight. All women will receive standard of prenatal obstetric care, including routine supplementation with iron and folate. The study will be a collaborative effort between the Division of Nutrition, St John's Research Institute, Bangalore, India, and the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, US.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment




Vitamin B12, Placebo


St. John's Medical Research Institute, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences




Harvard School of Public Health

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A lipid cofactor that is required for normal blood clotting. Several forms of vitamin K have been identified: VITAMIN K 1 (phytomenadione) derived from plants, VITAMIN K 2 (menaquinone) from bacteria, and synthetic naphthoquinone provitamins, VITAMIN K 3 (menadione). Vitamin K 3 provitamins, after being alkylated in vivo, exhibit the antifibrinolytic activity of vitamin K. Green leafy vegetables, liver, cheese, butter, and egg yolk are good sources of vitamin K.

Proteins produced by organs of the mother or the PLACENTA during PREGNANCY. These proteins may be pregnancy-specific (present only during pregnancy) or pregnancy-associated (present during pregnancy or under other conditions such as hormone therapy or certain malignancies.)

A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as RICKETS in children and OSTEOMALACIA in adults. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1406)

A family of phylloquinones that contains a ring of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone and an isoprenoid side chain. Members of this group of vitamin K 1 have only one double bond on the proximal isoprene unit. Rich sources of vitamin K 1 include green plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. Vitamin K1 has antihemorrhagic and prothrombogenic activity.

The state of PREGNANCY in women with DIABETES MELLITUS. This does not include either symptomatic diabetes or GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE induced by pregnancy (DIABETES, GESTATIONAL) which resolves at the end of pregnancy.

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