Influence of prenatal iron and zinc supplements on supplemental iron absorption, red blood cell iron incorporation, and iron status in pregnant Peruvian women

Kimberly O. O'Brien, Nelly Zavaleta, Laura E. Caulfield, Dong Xiao Yang, Steven A. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: It is estimated that 60% of pregnant women worldwide are anemic. Objective: We aimed to examine the influence of iron status on iron absorption during pregnancy by measuring supplemental iron absorption, red blood cell iron incorporation, and iron status in pregnant women. Design: Subjects were 45 pregnant Peruvian women (33 ± 1 wk gestation), of whom 28 received daily prenatal supplements containing 60 mg Fe and 250 μg folate without (Fe group, n = 14) or with (Fe+Zn group, n = 14) 15 mg Zn, which were consumed from week 10 to 24 of gestation until delivery. The remaining 17 women (control) received no prenatal supplementation. Iron status indicators and isotopes were measured in maternal blood collected 2 wk postdosing with oral (57Fe) and intravenous (58Fe) stable iron isotopes. Results: Maternal serum ferritin and folate concentrations were significantly influenced by supplementation (P < 0.05). Serum iron was also significantly higher in the Fe than in the Fe+Zn (P < 0.03) or control (P < 0.001) groups. However, the supplemented groups had significantly lower serum zinc concentrations than the control group (8.4 ± 2.3 and 10.9 ± 1.8 μmol/L, respectively, P < 0.01). Although percentage iron absorption was inversely related to maternal serum ferritin concentrations (P = 0.036), this effect was limited and percentage iron absorption did not differ significantly between groups. Conclusions: Because absorption of nonheme iron was not substantially greater in pregnant women with depleted iron reserves, prenatal iron supplementation is important for meeting iron requirements during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume69
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anemia
  • Ferritin
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Peru
  • Pregnancy
  • Stable isotopes
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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