Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 135, Issue 1–3, pp 31–37 | Cite as

Blood Copper, Zinc, Calcium, and Magnesium Levels During Different Duration of Pregnancy in Chinese

  • Jinhao Liu
  • Hui Yang
  • Hua Shi
  • Chuan Shen
  • Wenjie Zhou
  • Qingkai Dai
  • Yongmei Jiang


Concentrations of various trace elements are altered during pregnancy with changes in the mother’s physiology and the requirements of growing fetus. The aim of the present longitudinal study was to learn the changes of trace element copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) of normal pregnant woman during different durations of pregnancy and establish the reference values of changes of statistical significance. Blood samples were obtained from 128 normal pregnant women during early (10–14th week), mid (20–24th week), and late (30–34th week) pregnancy and 6–12th week postpartum and 120 healthy unpregnant healthy women. The full blood concentrations of chosen elements were measured by means of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Changes on levels of Cu, Ca, and Mg during all the three durations of pregnancy and Zn during mid and late pregnancy and postpartum were of statistical significance and new reference values of them were set in the present study. These new reference values will be helpful in assessing the health status of pregnant women with a socioeconomic and racial background similar to those of our study participants and give treatments to them promptly.


Duration of pregnancy Trace elements Longitudinal study Reference values Normal pregnancy 


  1. 1.
    King JC (2000) Physiology of pregnancy and nutrient metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr 71:1218–1225Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Black RE (2001) Micronutrients in pregnancy. Br J Nutr 85(l2):S193–S197CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Prentice A (2000) Calcium in pregnancy and lactation. Annu Rev Nutr 20:249–272CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    George SS, Swaminathan S, Seshadri L et al (1996) Zinc levels in pregnancy. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 55(2):175–176CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Al Saleh E, Nandakumaran M, Al Harmi J et al (2006) Maternal–fetal status of copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc in obese pregnant women in late gestation. Biol Trace Elem Res 113(2):113–123CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Izquierdo Alvarez S, Castanon SG, Ruata ML et al (2007) Updating of normal levels of copper, zinc and selenium in serum of pregnant women. J Trace Elem Med Biol 21(1):49–52CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huang HM, Leung PL, Sun DZ et al (1999) Hair and serum calcium, iron, copper, and zinc levels during normal pregnancy at three trimesters. Biol Trace Elem Res 69(2):111–120CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ilhan N, Ilhan N, Simsek M (2002) The changes of trace elements, malondialdehyde levels and superoxide dismutase activities in pregnancy with or without preeclampsia. Clinical Biochemistry 35:393–397CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Keen C, Uriu-Hare J, Hawk S et al (1998) Effect of copper deficiency on prenatal development and pregnancy outcome. Am J Clin Nutr 67:1003S–1011SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    O'Brien KO, Zavaleta N, Caulfield LE et al (2000) Prenatal iron supplements impair zinc absorption in pregnant Peruvian women. J Nutr 130:2251–2255PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    King JC (2000) Determinants of maternal zinc status during pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 71:1334S–1343SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tamura T, Goldenberg RL, Johnston KE et al (2000) Maternal plasma zinc concentrations and pregnancy outcome. Am J Clin Nutr 71:109–113PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tuttle S (1983) Trace element requirements during pregnancy. In: Campbell DM, Gillmer MDG (eds) Nutrition in pregnancy. Royal College of Gynaecologists, London, pp 47–54Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sheldon WL, Aspillaga MO, Smith PA et al (1985) The effect of oral iron supplementation on zinc and magnesium levels during pregnancy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 92:892–898PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Baig S, Hasnain NU, Uddin Q et al (2003) Studies on Zn, Cu, Mg, Ca and phosphorus in maternal and cord blood. JPMA 53:417Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    de Jong N (2002) Zinc and iron status during pregnancy of Filipino women. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr 11(3):186–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hambidge KM, Abebe Y, Gibson RS (2006) Zinc absorption during late pregnancy in rural southern Ethiopia. Am J Clin Nutr 84(5):1102–1106PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    More C, Bhattoa HP, Bettembuk P et al (2003) The effects of pregnancy and lactation on hormonal status and biochemical markers of bone turnover. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 106:209–213CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zeni SN, Ortela Soler CR, Lazzari A et al (2003) Interrelationship between bone turnover markers and dietary calcium intake in pregnant women: a longitudinal study. Bone 33:606–613CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mayne P (1996) Calcium, phosphate and magnesium metabolism. In: Clinical chemistry in diagnosis and treatment ELSB, 6th edn. Bath, UK, pp 179–188, 144Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pitkin RM, Gebhardt MP (1977) Serum calcium concentrations in human pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 127:775–778PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rasmussen N, Frolich A, Hornnes PJ et al (1990) Serum ionized calcium and intact parathyroid hormone levels during pregnancy and postpartum. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 97:857–859PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dahlman T, Sjoberg HE, Bucht E (1994) Calcium homeostasis in normal pregnancy and puerperium. A longitudinal study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 73:393–398CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kovacs CS, Kronenberg HM (1997) Maternal–fetal calcium and bone metabolism during pregnancy, puerperium, and lactation. Endocr Rev 18:832–872CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mohapatra P, Mohapatra SC, Aggrawal DK et al (1990) Nutritional status of antenatal women in rural areas of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Man India 70(1):85–91Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kent GN, Price RI, Gutteridge DH et al (1991) The efficiency of intestinal calcium absorption is increased in late pregnancy but not in established lactation. Calcif Tissue Int 48:293–295CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Standley CA, Whitty JE, Mason BA et al (1997) Serum ionized magnesium levels in normal and preeclamptic gestation. Obstet Gynecol 89:24–27CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Williams KP, Galerneau F (2002) The role of serum uric acid as a prognostic indicator of the severity of maternal and fetal complications in hypertensive pregnancies. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 24:628–632PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Dale F, Sinpson G (1992) Serum magnesium levels of women taking an oral or long term injectable progestational contraceptive. Obstet Gynecol 39:115–119Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lonnerdal B (1996) Iron–zinc–copper interactions. In: Micronutrient interactions: impact on child health and nutrition. ILSI, Washington, DC, pp 3–10Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Milne DB, Canfield WK, Mahalko JR et al (1984) Effect of oral folic acid supplements on zinc, copper, and iron absorption and excretion. Am J Clin Nutr 39:535–539PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hallberg L (1998) Does calcium interfere with iron absorption? Am J Clin Nutr 68:3–4 editorialPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Institute of Medicine (1999) Dietary reference intakes. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and fluoride. National Academy, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Diggle P, Heagerty P, Liang KY, Zeger SL (2002) Analysis of longitudinal data. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 1–21Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Pahwa P, Blair T (2002) Statistical model for the analysis of longitudinal data. Available at: Accessed December 2007

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinhao Liu
    • 1
  • Hui Yang
    • 1
  • Hua Shi
    • 1
  • Chuan Shen
    • 1
  • Wenjie Zhou
    • 1
  • Qingkai Dai
    • 1
  • Yongmei Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, West China Second University HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations