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Vitamin B Deficiency in Pregnant Mothers Linked to Diabetes

All the nutrients that a growing body needs can be acquired by following a healthy and nutrient-filled diet. A pregnant woman, however, often has troubles with following a prescribed diet. During pregnancy, a woman suffers from a manic appetite ranging from sugar cravings to loss of appetite; hence, a pregnant woman’s unstable appetite impairs her acquisition of a healthy and nutrient-filled diet.

The experience of morning sickness can contribute to a pregnant mother’s loss of appetite as well. Moreover, physiological abnormalities especially involving allergies and intolerance to some substance (such as milk in lactose-intolerant women) results in a deficiency of one valuable nutrient or another.

A pregnant woman’s body requires additional stocks of essential vitamins and nutrients to ensure her health and her baby’s. Folic acid, iron, and calcium are just some of the necessary nutrients required to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Apart from those already mentioned, doctors also emphasize on the importance of vitamin B, specifically vitamin B-6 stores.

What are vitamin B / vitamin B-6? Why is it important especially for a pregnant woman?

Vitamin B is an octa-complex of water-soluble vitamins including: riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), folic acid (B9), biotin (B7 or vitamin H), and cobalamin (B-12, also known as cyanocobalamin).

These vitamins are abundant in meat, dairy products, liver, brewer’s yeast, whole-grain bread and cereals, nuts, eggs, rice, fruits and green leafy vegetables aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Moreover, the vitamin B octa-complex help the body establish a healthy immune and nervous system thereby protecting the body from attacks from bacteria, viruses, and other hazardous antibodies.

What are the effects of vitamin B deficiency?

A deficiency in vitamin B has been associated with anemia in pregnant women which explains constant feelings of fatigue, breathlessness, and listlessness, and infections.

Because the B-vitamins are essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates (particularly thiamin or B1) to glucose which is used up by the body as energy, fats, and protein (particularly riboflavin or B2 and pantothenic acid or B5) and the synthesis and release of energy (niacin or B3 helps in the release of energy from nutrients), inadequate intake of foods rich in B-vitamins lead to high-blood pressure, unhealthy and dangerous cholesterol levels (which may lead to obesity and cardiovascular problems during or after pregnancy) and gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes in pregnant women has been specifically linked to a deficiency in B6 or pyridoxine which enables the pancreas to produce insulin. Deficient stores of the B-vitamin have been known to increase a pregnant woman’s tendency toward hypoglycemia.

Doctors say that the onset of gestational diabetes in pregnant women and type-2 diabetes in their offspring can be preempted through a healthy diet inclusive of foods that are rich with Vitamin B complex, examples of which have been mentioned previously. Pregnant women with special considerations such as those already mentioned above are advised to take in prenatal vitamins rich with B-vitamins with their present physician-prescribed and regulated diet.

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