Impact of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency During Lactation on Maternal and Infant Health

  • Lindsay H. Allen
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 503)


Vitamin B-12 is a “cobalamin”, a term that describes structures with a corrin ring which has a central cobalt atom, phosphate, a base, and ribose. One of several groups can be attached to the cobalt: cyanide, forming vitamin B-12; 5’deoxyadenosine, forming 5’ deoxyadenosylcobalamin; or a methyl group, forming methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is a cofactor for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, and adenosylcobalamin is required for the conversion of methyl malonyl CoA to succinyl CoA. These cofactor functions explain why in vitamin B-12 deficiency there is elevated methylmalonic acid (MMA) in urine and serum, and plasma homocysteine (Hcy).


Anemia Folate Homocysteine Gastritis Thiamin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay H. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NutritionUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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