Crucial role of Zinc in pregnancy
Pregnancy and lactation are the special conditions when women need to have special attention on diet and supplements rich in vitamins like folic acid and minerals like Zinc. It is crucial for maintaining a healthy pregnancy and feeding the baby with optimum nutrition. As the demand increases, women should intake more amount of Zinc at this time. But most women are unaware about it.
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for pregnant women is 11 milligrams per day and 12 milligrams per day in lactation. A report published in 1992 in American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that low Zinc intake was associated with approximately a two-fold increase in risk of low birth weight and low Zinc intake earlier in pregnancy was associated with more than a trebling of pre-term delivery.
A research published in medical journal The Lancet noted that by the sixth month of lactation, even a well-nourished mother may provide her child with insufficient Zinc. Breastfed babies who received Zinc supplements grew significantly in length and weight over those given a dietary source of Zinc
Rich sources of Zinc are oysters, beef, liver, seafood, poultry, nuts and seeds, whole grains, yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, peanuts and peanut butter, legumes and milk. Zinc found in breast milk is better absorbed than that of in formula milk. Fruits and vegetables are not generally good sources of Zinc.
The writer is a physician doing MD coursework in Endocrinology at BIRDEM, Dhaka. Email: selimshahjada@ gmail.com