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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Western Human Nutrition Research Center » Obesity and Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325605

Research Project: Novel Functions and Biomarkers for Vitamins and Minerals

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research

Title: Vitamin B-12 concentrations in breast milk are low and are not associated with reported household hunger, recent animal source food or vitamin B-12 intake among women in rural Kenya

Author
item Williams, Anne - University Of California
item Chantry, Caroline - University Of California
item Young, Sera - Cornell University - New York
item Allen, Lindsay
item Arnold, Benjamin - University Of California
item Colford Jr, John - University Of California
item Dentz, Holly - University Of California
item Hampel, Daniela - University Of California
item Lin, Audrie - University Of California
item Null, Claire - University Of California
item Shahab-ferdows, Setti
item Stewart, Christine - University Of California

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2016
Publication Date: 4/13/2016
Citation: Williams, A.M., Chantry, C.J., Young, S.L., Allen, L.H., Arnold, B.F., Colford Jr, J.M., Dentz, H.N., Hampel, D., Lin, A., Null, C.A., Shahab-Ferdows, S., Stewart, C. 2016. Vitamin B-12 concentrations in breast milk are low and are not associated with reported household hunger, recent animal source food or vitamin B-12 intake among women in rural Kenya. Journal of Nutrition. 146(5)1125-1131. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.228189.

Interpretive Summary: Background: Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentration may be inadequate in mothers living in regions where animal source food consumption is low or infrequent. Vitamin B-12 deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia and impairs growth and development in children. Objective: To measure vitamin B-12 in breastmilk and examine its associations with a score for household hunger, and recent animal source food and vitamin B-12 intake. Methods: These analyses were conducted in a sub-study nested within a larger cluster-randomized trial assessing a water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition intervention in Kenya (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01704105). We sampled 286 women 1-6 mo postpartum and performed a cross-sectional analysis. Mothers hand-expressed breastmilk 1-min after a feed started, following 90-min of observed non-breastfeeding. The Household Hunger Scale was used to measure hunger over the past mo, food intake in the last wk was measured using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and vitamin B-12 intake was estimated using 24-h dietary recall. An animal source food score was constructed based on frequency of 10 items on the FFQ (range 0-70). Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentration was measured using a solid-phase competitive chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentration was modeled with linear regression and generalized estimating equations were used to account for correlated observations at the cluster level. Results: Median (Q1, Q3) vitamin B-12 intake was 1.5 (0.3, 9.7) 'g/d and 60% of women consumed <2.4'g/d, the estimated average requirement (EAR) during lactation. The median milk vitamin B-12 concentration was 113 (61, 199) pmol/L and 89% had concentrations <310 pmol/L, the estimated adequate level. Moderate or severe household hunger prevalence was 27%, and the animal source food score ranged from 0-30 item-days/week. Hunger, recent animal source food, and vitamin B-12 intakes were not associated with breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations, and maternal age was negatively associated with log breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations. Conclusion: Most of these lactating Kenyan women consumed less than the EAR of vitamin B-12 and had low breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations. We recommend interventions that improve vitamin B-12 intake among lactating women in Kenya to foster maternal health and child development

Technical Abstract: Background: Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentration may be inadequate in mothers living in regions where animal source food consumption is low or infrequent. Vitamin B-12 deficiency causes megaloglastic anemia and impairs growth and development in children. Objective: To measure vitamin B-12 in breastmilk and examine its associations with household hunger, recent animal source food and vitamin B-12 intake. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 286 women 1-6 mo postpartum sampled 8 from a cluster-randomized trial assessing a water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition intervention in Kenya (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01704105). Mothers hand-expressed breastmilk 1-min into a feed, following 90-min of observed non-breastfeeding. The Household Hunger Scale was 11 used to measure hunger over the past mo, food intake in the last wk was measured using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and vitamin B-12 intake was estimated using 24-h dietary recall. An animal source food score was based on frequency of 10 items on the FFQ (range 0-70). Breastmilk B-12 concentration was measured using a solid-phase competitive chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. Results: Median (Q1, Q3) B-12 intake was 1.5 (0.3, 9.7) µg/d and 60% of women consumed <2.4µg/d, the estimated average requirement (EAR) during lactation. Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentration was 113 (61, 199) pmol/L and 89% had concentrations <310 pmol/L, the estimated adequate level. Moderate or severe household hunger prevalence was 27%, and the animal source food score ranged from 0-30 item-days/week. Hunger, recent animal source food, and vitamin B-12 intakes were not associated with breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations, and maternal age was negatively associated with log breastmilk B-12 concentrations. Conclusion: Most women consumed less than the EAR of vitamin B-12 and had low breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations. We recommend interventions that improve vitamin B-12 intake among lactating women to foster maternal health and child development