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Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;85(1):131-6.

Effect of high-dose iron supplements on fractional zinc absorption and status in pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Women have an increased risk of iron deficiency during pregnancy because of the demands of the developing fetus. Iron supplements are commonly advocated as a prophylactic treatment and are generally taken with meals to reduce side effects, but iron can interfere with the absorption of zinc.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim was to determine the effect of consuming an iron supplement (100 mg Fe/d as ferrous gluconate) with meals from 16 wk gestation to term on zinc status and absorption.

DESIGN:

Stable-isotope techniques were used to measure zinc status (exchangeable zinc pool, EZP) and fractional zinc absorption (FZA) in early and late pregnancy from a meal consumed at a different time from that of iron supplement or placebo consumption in 6 women given iron supplements and 7 given a placebo.

RESULTS:

FZA increased during pregnancy, independent of iron supplementation. FZA was significantly higher (P < 0.001) at week 34 than at weeks 16 and 24, and urinary zinc excretion was higher at week 34 than at week 16 (P = 0.02). The size of the EZP remained unchanged throughout pregnancy and was unaffected by iron supplementation. The iron status of iron-supplemented women was higher than that of the placebo group.

CONCLUSIONS:

In iron-replete pregnant women who consumed a Western diet, no detectable adverse effects on zinc metabolism were observed after ingestion of 100 mg Fe/d. An increase in the efficiency of zinc absorption was observed during late pregnancy.

PMID:
17209188
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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