Improvit2 – The intake of milk, pregnancy outcome and vitamin B12

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, the elderly over 60 years of age as well as vegans and vegetarians have attempted risk of developing B12 deficiency, which has several health implications. Preliminary results have shown that the chemical form in which B12 is present is important for our uptake of the vitamin. The purpose of Improvits2 is to investigate how to ensure a good B12 status in pregnant women and infants - via milk or by B12 in the form of a pill.

By: Grith Mortensen

This project aims to document the impact of vitamin B12 in milk supplementation as a rational strategy to prevent vitamin B12 shortage. The project will potentially generate new knowledge on vitamins in milk and their effects on human health. Considering the participants in-depth knowledge on the interaction, distribution, and content of B12 in the milk fractions and dairy products gathered during the TRIM project and the project participants experience with milk and whey powder intervention for better human B12 status in the IMPROVIT project, the study potentially will provide the full packages needed in order for the dairy industry to B12-optimize existing products, design new B12 rich products, or simply advocate that plain milk holds a new and positive effect on health, beyond basic nutrition. This information will be of general importance for all individuals at risk of developing an insufficient B12 status, not only the pregnant women and their offspring but also other groups at risk for B12 deficiency such as the elderly and vegetarians.

Project period: March 2020 - March 2023

Budget: DKK

Financing: Milk Levy Fund, in-kind from Aarhus University

Project manager: Christian W. Heegaard

Institution: Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University 

Participants: Clinical Biochemistry, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Center, India and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital