Here’s how vitamin B12 affects fertility, plus tips for getting more vitamin B12 in your diet so you can get pregnant. And, a new test for B12 vitamin deficiency. Both male and female fertility can be seriously affected by something as simple as a vitamin B12 deficiency.
If you don’t think you’re getting enough vitamin B12, think about getting Jarrow Formulas – Methyl B-12 Vitamins. Why? Because “Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with infertility,” says hematologist Michael Bennett, M.D. in Could it be B12? “Pregnancy may occur in the presence of B12 deficiency but may be associated with recurrent early fetal loss.”
Plus, a deficiency of B12 leads to reduced sperm counts and sperm motility. To learn more about the effects of this vitamin on fertility rates, read Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses.
Below is how vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to infertility – and what you can eat to increase vitamin B12 in your diet. This book also discusses how a vitamin B12 deficiency affects heart disease, autism, and other medical conditions.
Fertility and B12 Vitamins
“Doctors have reported successful pregnancies in once-infertile women following therapy for B12 deficiency,” write Pacholok and Stuart in Could it be B12? “Yet often, sadly, this deficiency is overlooked even by infertility specialists until women have undergone months or even years of unsuccessful treatment. As a result, many couples spend thousands of dollars and suffer disappointment after disappointment, when treatment with B1 injections might have solved their problem.”
How vitamin B12 affects fertility
These authors say researchers don’t know exactly why a vitamin B12 deficiency makes it difficult to get pregnant and carry the baby to term. The deficiency could interfere with ovulation or normal cell division – and even affect how the fertilized ovum is implanted in the uterine lining.
Whatever the exact link is between vitamin B12 deficiency and female or male infertility, these authors say that a B12 test may improve the chances of getting pregnant naturally. Also — it may be wise to avoid certain foods when you’re trying to conceive a baby.
Foods High in Vitamin B12 (from highest to lowest)
- Mollusks, clams, cooked
- Liver, beef, braised
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked
- Salmon, sockeye, cooked
- Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked
- Beef, top sirloin, lean, cooked
- Cheeseburger, double patty
- Yogurt, plain, skim
- Haddock, cooked
- Clams, breaded, fried
- Tuna, white, canned
- Pork, cured, ham, lean only
- Egg, hard boiled
- American pasteurized cheese
- Chicken breast, roasted
If you’re worried about vitamin B12 and fertility, read 13 Tips for Getting Pregnant Without Taking Fertility Drugs.
Eat Foods High in Vitamin B12 to Get Pregnant
Vitamin B12 doesn’t just help you get pregnant, it affects your developing baby! “Insufficent B12 in the developing infant is linked to serious and potentially fatal problems, including neural tube defects and neurological abnormalities that can lead to mental retardation or autism,” write Pacholok and Stuart in Could it be B12?.
Don’t let this alarm you – it’s easy to get enough vitamin B12 if you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Just pay attention to the B12 levels in your food; if you’re not getting enough, consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement. And you might want to read about the 12 Most Common Causes of Fertility Problems.
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A New Way to Dectect Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Researchers have developed a new test to detect the levels of vitamin B12 using your breath, allowing for a cheaper, faster, and simpler diagnosis that could help to avoid the potentially fatal symptoms of B12 deficiency. In a study published today, 23 June 2011, in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Breath Research, researchers have developed a simple, non-invasive, low-cost breath test to more accurately measure vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a growing public health problem in which the most common tests – using blood serum levels – are limited in accuracy and sensitivity and are non-specific for vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system whilst also being essential for the formation of red blood cells; however in low levels it can cause fatigue, clinical depression and memory loss as well as more detrimental and irreversible effects on the brain and nervous system. Several reports have also linked B12 deficiency to pernicious anaemia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can often be asymptomatic, which means you may not know you are deficient. If you don’t know you’re deficient, you won’t know how vitamin B12 affects your fertility. This accentuates the need for a more accurate and reliable test. The initial testing of the B12 breath test conducted measurements on subjects with chronic pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, as well as patients over 65 – all of which are associated with a higher incidence of vitamin B12 deficiency. After fasting and not smoking for 8 hours, the study subjects were orally administered 50 mg of propionate and then tested every 10 minutes for the first hour and every 15 minutes for the second hour, with the best diagnostic accuracy appearing to be the 10 and 20 minute intervals.
To ascertain the accuracy of the breath test, the obtained vitamin B12 levels were compared with several blood compounds that are currently used to ascertain vitamin B12 deficiency. The authors concluded that the results from their study indicate that the vitamin B12 breath test is a non-invasive, sensitive, specific, and reproducible diagnostic test to detect vitamin B12 deficiency.
For more tips on vitamin B12, fertility, and getting pregnant, read Fertility Diet – 5 Delicious, Vitamin Rich Foods for Fertility.
If you have any thoughts on vitamin B12 and fertility, please comment below. I can’t offer medical advice on vitamin B12 and fertility, but I can listen to your story!