Vitamin B-12 Supplementation During Pregnancy and Early Lactation Does Not Affect Neurophysiologic Outcomes in Children Aged 6 Years

Authors : Srinivasan K, Thomas S, Anand S, Jayachandra M, Thomas T, Strand TA, Kurpad AV, Duggan CP

Publication Year : 2020

Abstract :

Deficiency of vitamin B-12 is common in pregnant Indian women. Assessment of neurophysiological measures using event-related potentials (ERPs) may yield additional information on the effects of maternal B-12 supplementation on child brain function.

The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of vitamin B-12 supplementation (50 microgram daily orally) during pregnancy on the childhood ERP measures of positive waveform ~300 ms after stimulus (P300) and mismatch negativity.

This study was a follow-up of children born to pregnant women who received oral vitamin B-12 supplements (n = 62) compared with children of pregnant women who received placebo (n = 70) from a randomized controlled trial. The mean ± SD child age was 72 ± 1 mo. We used the Enobio system to assess the ERP measures P300 and mismatch negativity.

There were no significant differences in the primary outcomes, amplitudes, and latencies of the P300 results and the mismatch negativity between children in the supplementation and placebo groups. We combined the intervention and placebo groups for secondary analyses. On multiple variable regression analysis after adjusting for treatment group, intrauterine growth restriction, and home environment, P300 amplitude in children was significantly higher in the lowest tertile of third-trimester maternal methylmalonic acid (MMA) concentrations (ß = 3034.04; 95% CI: 923.24, 5144.83) compared with the highest MMA tertile (ß = 1612.12; 95% CI: -258.86, 3483.10, P = 0.005).

While no significant effects of maternal vitamin B-12 supplementation on children's ERP measures were seen at 72 mo, elevated maternal MMA concentrations in the third trimester were negatively associated with P300 amplitude in children. It may be worthwhile to study the impact of maternal and infant vitamin B-12 supplementation on childhood brain structure and function in longer and larger trials. The parent trial was registered at as NCT00641862.