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Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):509-15.

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

Author information

1
Center for Human Nutrition, The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. kobrien@jhsph.edu

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 microg folate without (Fe group, n = 14) or with (Fe+Zn group, n = 14) 15 mg Zn, which were 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 micromol/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.

PIP:

The influence of iron status on iron absorption during pregnancy was examined among pregnant Peruvian women. This was done by measuring supplemental iron absorption, red blood cell iron incorporation and iron status. The subjects were 45 pregnant Peruvian women (33 +or- 1 week gestation) who were divided into 2 groups. The first group of 28 pregnant women received daily prenatal supplements containing 60 mg of iron and 250 mcg of folate with or without 15 mg of zinc, from week 10 to 24 of gestation until delivery. The second group of 17 women served as the control group. The control group was not given prenatal supplementation. The iron status indicators and isotopes were measured in maternal blood collected 2 weeks postdosing with oral iron-57 and intravenous iron-58 stable isotopes. The results showed that supplementation significantly influenced the maternal serum ferritin and folate concentrations (P 0.05). The serum iron of the iron group was significantly higher than that of the iron + zinc group (P 0.03) or control group (P 0.001). However, the serum zinc concentrations were lower in the supplemented group than in the control group. Even though the percentage of iron absorption was inversely related to maternal serum ferritin concentration, the effect was limited and the percentage of iron absorption did not differ significantly between the two groups. Considering that the absorption of nonheme iron was not substantially greater in pregnant women with depleted iron reserves, it was concluded that prenatal iron supplementation is essential for meeting iron requirements, especially during pregnancy.

PMID:
10075338
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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