Sunday, 28 October 2007

Vitamin B6 may boost conception

A study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, may see vitamin B6 become as important as the current "Big 3" of pregnancy nutrition: folic acid, calcium with vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Researchers in China looked at blood levels of homocysteine, folate, and vitamins B6 and B12 in over 350 women to see if there was a link between B vitamin status and ease of conception. The women had an average age of 25 years and had all conceived at least once between 1996-8. Daily urine samples were taken for 12 months and tested for human chorionic gonadatropin (hCG) to detect conception and early pregnancy loss.

It was found that women with an adequate vitamin B6 status (>30nm/l) had a 40% better chance of conception and a 30% lower risk of miscarriage early in pregnancy compared with women with a low vitamin B6 status. Having high vitamin B6 levels in the blood improved these chances further with a 120% increased chance of conception at 38nm/l and a 50% lower risk of early pregnancy loss at 46nm/l. The results suggest that increasing vitamin B6 levels prior to conception could boost conception rates and decrease the risk of early miscarraige.

Melody Mackeown, Nutritionist & Foresight Practitioner, says 'These results are very promising but further research is needed to support the observations. We know that Vitamin B6 is a key nutrient in many functions within the body'

Source: American Journal of EpidemiologyVolume 166, Number 3, Pages 304-312; doi:10.1093/aje/kwm078 "Preconception B-Vitamin and Homocysteine Status, Conception, and Early Pregnancy Loss"Authors: A.G. Ronnenberg, S.A. Venners, X. Xu, C. Chen, L. Wang, W. Guang, A. Huang and X. Wang