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Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;77(6):1512-6.

Effect of zinc supplementation of pregnant women on the mental and psychomotor development of their children at 5 y of age.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294, USA. tamurat@uab.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A negative effect of prenatal zinc deficiency on brain function has been well established in experimental animals, but this association in humans is controversial.

OBJECTIVE:

We evaluated the effect of prenatal zinc supplementation on the mental and psychomotor development of 355 children whose mothers participated in a double-blind trial of zinc supplementation that resulted in increased head circumference and birth weight.

DESIGN:

The children took 6 tests-the Differential Ability Scales, Visual Sequential Memory, Auditory Sequential Memory, Knox Cube, Gross Motor Scale, and Grooved Pegboard tests-at a mean age of 5.3 y. The scores were compared between the children of women who received a daily oral dose of 25 mg Zn during the second half of pregnancy and the children of women who received placebo.

RESULTS:

There were no differences in the test scores of neurologic development between the 2 groups. We analyzed the scores in 4 subgroups on the basis of maternal body mass index, because the increases in birth weight and head circumference due to the supplementation occurred only in the children of women with a body mass index (in kg/m(2)) < 26.0 in the original trial. No differences in the scores were found between these subgroups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Zinc supplementation of women in the latter half of pregnancy had no effect on the neurologic development of their children at age 5 y. It is not known whether our findings of no positive effect in the population with apparently inadequate zinc nutriture can be readily extrapolated to other populations.

PMID:
12791632
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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