Adding zinc to prenatal iron and folate supplements improves maternal and neonatal zinc status in a Peruvian population

Laura E. Caulfield, Nelly Zavaleta, Alberto Figueroa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Maternal zinc deficiency during pregnancy may be widespread among women in developing countries, but few data are available on whether prenatal zinc supplementation improves maternal and neonatal zinc status. Objective: We studied whether maternal zinc supplementation improved the zinc status of mothers and neonates participating in a supplementation trial in a shantytown in Lima, Peru. Design: Beginning at gestation week 10-24, 1295 mothers were randomly assigned to receive prenatal supplements containing 60 mg Fe and 250 μg folate, with or without 15 mg Zn. Venous blood and urine samples were collected at enrollment, at gestation week 28-30, and at gestation week 37-38. At birth, a sample of cord vein blood was collected. We measured serum zinc concentrations in 538 women, urinary zinc concentrations in 521 women, and cord zinc concentrations in 252 neonates. Results: At 28- 30 and 37-38 wk, mothers receiving zinc supplements had higher serum zinc concentrations than mothers who did not receive zinc (8.8 ± 1.9 compared with 8.4 ± 1.5 μmol/L and 8.6 ± 1.5 compared with 8.3 ± 1.4 μmol/L, respectively). Urinary zinc concentrations were also higher in mothers who received supplemental zinc (P < 0.05). After adjustment for covariates and confounding factors, neonates of mothers receiving zinc supplements had higher cord zinc concentrations than neonates of mothers who did not receive zinc (12.7 ± 2.3 compared with 12.1 ± 2.1 μmol/L). Despite supplementation, maternal and neonatal zinc concentrations remained lower than values reported for well-nourished populations. Conclusion: Adding zinc to prenatal iron and folate tablets improved maternal and neonatal zinc status, but higher doses of zinc are likely needed to further improve maternal and neonatal zinc status in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1263
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume69
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1999

Keywords

  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Maternal zinc deficiency
  • Neonates
  • Peru
  • Pregnancy
  • Supplementation
  • Women
  • Zinc status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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