Lack of vitamin C during pregnancy affects brain development

0-2.pngPregnant women need to pay special attention to vitamin C intake, especially during the first trimester. Although the fetus draws required nutrients from the mother, insufficient intake of vitamin C by the mother herself can lead to deficiency in both.

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen , Vitamin C deficiency in early stage of development of the fetus can compromise the growth of its hippocampal area of the brain by 10-15% hindering memory and cognition and unfortunately the damage is irreversible

Taking 400mg of vitamin C supplement daily reduced hospitalization due to iron deficiency anemia or upper respiratory tract infections for pregnant women in developing countries. These women may have limited access to fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables .

Although a diet rich in variety of fruits and vegetables can help meet part of the vitamin C requirements, supplementation during pregnancy should also be considered in consultation with qualified dietitian. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which is not stored in the body so everyday the supply needs to be maintained to avoid deficiency.



Pernille Tveden-Nyborg, Lucile Vogt, Janne G. Schjoldager, Natalie Jeannet, Stine Hasselholt, Maya D. Paidi, Stephan Christen, Jens Lykkesfeldt. Maternal Vitamin C Deficiency during Pregnancy Persistently Impairs Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Offspring of Guinea Pigs. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e48488 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048488


Author: drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

One thought on “Lack of vitamin C during pregnancy affects brain development”

  1. Thank you for the valuable information.When the mother-to-be is experiencing so many ups and downs, she has to consume a wholesome meal to keep her system healthy and energized. When pregnant the body’s need for essential nutrients increases many times to sustain both the mother and child.Today in this article we are going to discuss about one such nutrient; vitamin C, it’s importance, benefits and food sources that are rich in vitamin C.


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