Maternal plasma folate concentration is positively associated with serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein across the three trimesters of pregnancy

Manoela T. da Silva, Maria F. Mujica-Coopman, Amanda C.C. Figueiredo, Daniela Hampel, Luna S. Vieira, Dayana R. Farias, Setareh Shahab-Ferdows, Lindsay H. Allen, Alex Brito, Yvonne Lamers, Gilberto Kac, Juliana S. Vaz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increased first-trimester low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) concentration has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as gestational diabetes. The B vitamins folate, B-6, and total B-12 are key for the methyl group-dependent endogenous synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, which is needed for lipoprotein synthesis, e.g., very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), the precursor of circulating LDL-C. Maternal B-vitamin concentration usually declines across trimesters. Whether changes in maternal B-vitamin concentrations are associated with total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), and lipoprotein concentrations is unknown. Therefore, we explored the association between plasma folate, vitamin B-6 in the form of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), and total B-12 with serum TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TG concentrations across trimesters. This secondary analysis used data of a prospective pregnancy cohort study included apparently healthy adult women (n = 179) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The biomarkers were measured in fasting blood samples collected at 5–13, 20–26, and 30–36 weeks of gestation. The associations between B vitamins and lipid concentrations across trimesters were explored using linear mixed-effect models. Among B vitamins, only plasma folate was positively associated with TC (β = 0.244, 95% CI 0.034–0.454) and LDL-C (β = 0.193, 95% CI 0.028–0.357) concentrations. The positive relationship of maternal folate and TC and LDL-C concentrations may indicate the importance of folate as a methyl donor for lipoprotein synthesis during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20141
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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