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Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Sep;40(3):508-21.

Zinc supplementation during pregnancy: effects on selected blood constituents and on progress and outcome of pregnancy in low-income women of Mexican descent.


The effects of zinc supplementation on levels of various blood constituents and the outcome of pregnancy in 213 Hispanic women attending a prenatal clinic in Los Angeles was assessed in this double-blind study. The women were randomized into either a control (C) or a zinc-supplemented (Z) group and received similar vitamin and mineral supplements except that 20 mg zinc was added to the Z group's capsules. At the final interview, women (C + Z) with low serum Zn levels (less than or equal to 53 micrograms/dl) had higher (p less than 0.01) mean ribonuclease activity and lower (p less than 0.01) mean delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity than women with acceptable serum zinc levels. The incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension was higher (p less than 0.003) in the C than in the Z group, but pregnancy-induced hypertension was not associated with low serum zinc levels at either the initial or final interview. The expected increase in serum copper levels was greater (less than 0.001) in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension (C + Z) than in normotensives. Except for pregnancy-induced hypertension, there was a higher incidence of abnormal outcomes of pregnancy in the noncompliers than in the compliers (C + Z).

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