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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2001;15(2-3):167-74.

Prophylactic iron supplementation in pregnant women in Norway.

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Department of Medicine, Kongsvinger Hospital, Norway.


In the present study 67 non-anaemic women were randomly allocated to either 100 mg or 15 mg iron daily at about the 10. week of pregnancy. At about week 18, 30 and 36 of pregnancy, as well as 6 weeks after delivery, hemoglobin and the serum concentrations of ferritin, vitamin B12, folates, Zn, Cu and Se were monitored. Dietary allowances of other minerals and vitamins are also increased in pregnancy, and the 15 mg iron tablet was enriched with Zn (10 mg), Cu (2 mg), Se (50 microg), vitamin B12 (3 microg), and folate (0.1 mg). Neither ferritin, nor Cu, Zn or Se concentrations differed statistically significantly between the treatment groups during pregnancy. Ferritin and Zn appeared to decrease approximately parallel to the hemodilution, whereas Cu concentrations increased from a non-pregnant reference mean of 18 micromol Cu/L to a maximum mean of nearly 33 micromol Cu/L during pregnancy. Se decreased concomitantly to about 1.0 micromol Se/L. Serum folate (around 15 micromol/L) was essentially unaffected by pregnancy in the group given multivitamin/mineral supplementation, whereas the mean concentration fell below 10 micromol/L in the group supplemented with 100 mg iron daily. Our results indicate that supplementation of 15 mg Fe daily during pregnancy results in a small reduction of hemoglobin. It is suggested that additional supplementation with folate might be of importance to maintain the serum folate concentration during pregnancy.

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