Vol 4 No 2 (2018): Current Issue
Letter to Editor

Balanced Essential Micronutrients during Pregnancy: High Concern

Srilatha B
Department of Biochemistry, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, India
Sailesh KS
Department of Physiology, Vishu Dental College, India
Aparna V
Department of Biochemistry, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Rajagopalan V
Director Research, Saveetha University, Poonamalle High Road, India
Published October 17, 2018
  • Balanced Essential,
  • Micronutrients,
  • Pregnancy,
  • High Concern


Nutrition and epigenetic changes is the emerging topic of interest in the present scenario to understand the effects of increased supplementation of micronutrients like Folic Acid (FA). The study is taken up in the public health interest, to evaluate the importance of balancing the different micronutrients in the diet to avoid unbalanced nutritional disorders and other health complications later in life. It has been hypothesized that disease risks after birth or later in life can be determined by paternal or maternal diet. This raised an interest to study in-utero effects of environmental exposures like air pollution, toxins, nutrition, etc. It had been assumed that during embryonic period most of the dividing tissues get exposed to the environmental insults and that change results in predisposition of cancer or other health outcomes. There could be the possibility of maternal exposures like nutrition may alter the intrauterine one-carbon metabolism or the precursor milieu and may be involved in the disruption of one-carbon metabolism in developing offspring. Modification in methyl me of offspring with subsequent changes in phenotypes has been noted in the preliminary studies with increased folic acid (FA) supplementation during pregnancy. Maternal folate deficiency has been implicated as a cause of prematurity and both folate deficiency and cobalamin deficiency have been implicated in recurrent fetal loss and neural tube defects. Folic acid supplementation at the time of conception and in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is expected to reduce by 70% the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) (meningomyelocele, encephalocele and spina bifida) in the fetus. Most of the protective effect can be achieved by taking folic acid, 0.4 mg daily at the time of conception. However there is no clear relationship between maternal folate
status and the fetal abnormalities. It has been observed that, the lower the maternal folate, the greater the risk to the fetus. On the other hand maternal cobalamin status is a strong predictor of vitamin B12 in breastfed infants up to at least 6 months of age. Because of the transfer from mother to offspring during pregnancy and lactation, maternal requirements during this period are increased and deficiency may occur. The influence of low vitamin B12 during pregnancy may have cognitive ability of children later in life. Hypothyroidism is caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. In females, hypothyroidism is associated mainly with oligomenorrhea.