Introduction Vitamin B12 is crucial for normal cell division and differentiation, and necessary for the development and myelination of the central nervous system. Pregnant mothers in resource poor settings are at risk for poor vitamin B12 status. Poor vitamin B12 status in infancy is linked to poor growth and neurodevelopment. Brain development starts from conception, and pregnancy is a period of rapid growth and development for the brain. Methods and analysis The study is an individually randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial in 800 pregnant Nepalese women randomised in a 1:1 ratio. A daily dose of 50 μg of vitamin B12 or placebo is given to women from early pregnancy, not later than week 15, until 6 months after birth. Weekly visits are conducted in order to record compliance, growth and morbidity. The primary outcomes are scores on the cognitive, language and motor subscales of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, measured at 6 and 12 months of age, and growth (length and weight) measured at 6 and 12 months of age. Ethics and dissemination National Health and Research Council, Nepal (NHRC 253/2016) and Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics of Western Norway (2016/1620/REK vest) have approved the study. Investigators who have contributed to the conceptualising, conducting, as well as being involved in the data analyses and manuscript writing will be eligible for authorship and be responsible to share outcomes with different stakeholders through publications and workshops. The results from this study may support new dietary guidelines for Nepalese and possibly South Asian pregnant women that can lead to improved pregnancy outcomes, neurodevelopment and cognitive functioning in children. Trial registration number Universal Trial Number: U1111-1183-4093. Trial registration: clinicaltrials. gov: NCT03071666. Protocol date: version 1.2, 1 June 2017.
The present study aimed to assess the effects of an early childhood nutrition counselling intervention on intelligence (as measured by the intelligence quotient (IQ)) at age 15–16 years.
A single-blind, cluster-randomised trial.
In 1998, in Southern Brazil, mothers of children aged 18 months or younger were enrolled in a nutrition counselling intervention (n 424). Counselling included encouragement and promotion of exclusive breast-feeding until 6 months of age and continued breast-feeding supplemented by protein-, lipid- and carbohydrate-rich foods after age 6 months up to age 2 years. The control group received routine feeding advice. In 2013, the fourth round of follow-up of these individuals, at the age of 15–16 years, was undertaken. IQ was assessed using the short form of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III). Mental disorders (evaluated using the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA)) and self-reported school failure, smoking and alcohol use were also investigated. Adjusted analyses were conducted using a multilevel model in accordance with the sampling process.
Adolescents, mean (sd) age of 15·4 (0·5) years (n 339).
Mean (sd) total IQ score was lower in the intervention group than the control group (93·4 (11·4) and 95·8 (11·2), respectively) but the association did not persist after adjustment. The prevalence of any mental disorders was similar between intervention and control groups (23·1 and 23·5 %, respectively). There were no differences between groups regarding school failure, smoking and alcohol use.
Nutrition counselling intervention in early childhood had no effect on intelligence measured during adolescence.