Dietary Intake and Status of Folate, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 in Pregnant Women in Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Fayyaz, Faiqa
  • A multivitamin supplement containing folic acid is recommended during pregnancy. However, few women are counselled by a dietitian during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to determine folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 status and to estimate the contribution of food and supplements to the intake of folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 in pregnant women. The B-vitamins intakes were estimated in women (N=599) in the Alberta Pregnancy and Outcomes and Nutrition cohort during pregnancy and at 3-months postpartum using multiple 24-hour recalls and supplement intake questionnaires. Red blood cell folate (RBCF) and plasma folate, holotranscobalamin and pyridoxal 5-phosphate were measured. A quarter of the women had sub-optimal folate status in the first trimester of pregnancy and over half the women had abnormally high folate status suggesting that supplementation during pregnancy is not appropriate in a cohort of women considered to be healthy and a low risk for nutritional deficiencies.The prevalence of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 deficiency was very low in the cohort. The percentage of women with intakes of the B-vitamins below the EAR was negligible during pregnancy but increased during 3-months postpartum. The risk of inadequacy of folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 from food alone was 25, 19, and 33 times higher respectively compare to total intake (food + supplement). During pregnancy and postpartum a high proportion of the women (59% to 85%) had folic acid intakes that exceeded the upper level. Even in a group of healthy women with low risk pregnancies and high socio-economic status, the use of supplemental folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 is required to ensure women meet dietary perinatal recommendations. Guidance is needed in recommending the appropriate supplemental dose of folic acid.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
  • Specialization
    • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Catherine J. Field, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Rene L. Jacobs, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
    • Dr. Rhonda C. Bell, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
    • Dr. Deborah L. O'Connor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto