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Hair concentrations of calcium, iron, and zinc in pregnant women and effects of supplementation

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n this investigation, the concentration levels of hair elements of calcium, iron and zinc were measured in pregnant women from Tianjin metropolis, China. The subjects were 93 cases of pregnant women who had been suffering from calcium, iron, or zinc deficiency judged by blood tests at the mid-term of the second trimester or early in the third trimester. Of these 93 cases, 82 subjects had their hair element levels measured when the blood tests were conducted. Then, they were supplied with mineral element nutrients of zinc gluconate, calcium gluconate, or/and ferrous sulfate which were correspondent to the deficient element(s) for more than 2 mo before 84 subjects returned to the hospital for further diagnosis and had their hair near-parturient phase, 13 subjects had their hair element levels measured again. Except for the deficiencies of calcium, iron, or/and zinc, these subjects were all healthy without symptoms of any diseases. These concentrations of the three hair elements measured at three different times were statistically analyzed. From the analyses, it was clear that hair concentrations of calcium, iron, and zinc could reflect the effects of supplementation. Also, the mutual antagonistic effects among Ca-, Fe-, and Zn- nutrients were revealed. By appropriate combination, however, the mutual antagonistic effects could be depressed and mutual promotional effects might be enhanced. Finally, it could be concluded that mineral element deficiencies might be convalesced by adequate compensations of mineral element nutrients.

Leung PL, Huang HM, Sun DZ, Zhu MG. Biol Trace Elem Res, 1999;69:269-82

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