TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The adverse reproductive effects of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2,bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT) seem to be mitigated by vitamin B-12 and folate sufficiency, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Fengxiu Ouyang, from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined whether B-vitamin sufficiency protects against the adverse effects of DDT on clinical pregnancy and subclinical early pregnancy loss. Plasma B vitamins and serum total DDT concentrations were measured in 291 nulligravid women. The authors followed the women prospectively from the time they stopped contraception until clinical pregnancy or for 12 months.
The researchers found that the incidence rates of clinical pregnancy were reduced in women with B-vitamin deficiency and a high DDT concentration compared with women with adequate B vitamins and low DDT (all P < 0.05). In women with sufficient vitamin B-12, there was no correlation between DDT and incidence of clinical pregnancy; women with vitamin B-12 deficiency had lower incidence of clinical pregnancy in association with high DDT (hazard ratio, 0.44), with the test for interaction significant (P < 0.05). In women with high DDT concentrations, the odds of early pregnancy loss decreased by 45 percent for each interquartile distance increase in folate; the test for interaction was significant (P = 0.006).
“Our results provide suggestive evidence that vitamin B-12 and folate sufficiency may help protect against adverse reproductive effects of DDT exposure,” the authors write.