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.
|Journal||American Journal of Nutrition|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Jan 2007|