SOUTHAMPTON, England, Lower levels of a form of vitamin B during pregnancy may increase the risk for eczema in children, according to researchers in England.
Low levels of nicotinamide and related tryptophan metabolites — levels which can be maintained with a proper diet — play a role in development of eczema during pregnancy, University of Southampton researchers report in a study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
For the study, researchers measured maternal serum levels of kynurenine, kynurenic acid, anthranilic acid, tryptophan, nicotinamide and N1-methylnicotinamide in 497 women late in pregnancy.
While levels of the nutrients were not linked with eczema development by six months of age, by the time children reached 12 months, nutrient levels in their mothers during pregnancy could be positively associate with risk for the skin condition.
“Nicotinamide cream has been used in the treatment of eczema but the link between the mother’s levels of nicotinamide during pregnancy and the offspring’s risk of atopic eczema has not been previously studied,” said Dr. Sarah El-Heis, a researcher at the University of Southampton and lead researcher on the study. “The findings point to potentially modifiable influences on this common and distressing condition.”