Zinc is a trace mineral which is required right from
the time you conceive till delivery. Zinc has myriad
functions during pregnancy; it is very important for
all phases of growth, tissue development and maintenance,
and for the overall immune system. Zinc is essential
for many metabolic processes, protein and blood formation,
and in wound healing.
Zinc, the critical trace
• A marginal deficiency during pregnancy can
increase the chance of spontaneous abortion and other
complications, an extended pregnancy or premature
delivery, and prolonged labor.
• Adequate supply of this trace mineral is crucial
in the early stages of pregnancy since zinc is involved
in the process of cell replication. Low intake in
early pregnancy can contribute to growth retardation,
low birth weight babies and preterm deliveries.
• Zinc is very important since it is vital for
cell division and tissue growth of the developing
• Zinc ensures your baby is not premature; low
zinc intake has been associated with neural tube defects
(spina bifida, cleft lip and palate), visual and brain
impairment, poor bone development.
• Zinc deficiency also has long term impact
on baby - the result is a compromised immune system
which is more prone to infections and also a manifestation
of developmental and behavioral problems later on.
• Zinc is involved in the formation of genetic
material i.e. it stabilizes the genetic code in every
• Zinc aids in the perception of senses such
as taste and smell i.e. normal taste and smell sensations
• Zinc is essential for baby's hair, skin and
proper bone growth.
The etceteras on Zinc
• Zinc brings zing to your immune system - a
mild deficiency increases your risk of infection.
• Unlike other trace minerals, zinc is not stored
in the body. It circulates all the time and you tend
to lose it easily. You can lose zinc when your skin
• High-fiber diets such as whole grains can
interfere with zinc absorption.
• A high-calcium diet translates to adding more
zinc in the diet.
• There is a fine line between a surplus and
a shortage of zinc, with problems on both ends. An
excess is known to weaken the immune system and trigger
Zinc and the Vegetarian
• Good sources for vegetarians include nuts,
legumes, whole grains and seeds. Vegetarian women
need to incorporate plenty of zinc-rich legumes and
whole grains into their diet.
• Vegetarians have a harder time getting the
right supply of zinc because soy foods and whole grains
contain other substances that inhibit the absorption
of zinc. A good multi-vitamin & mineral will correct
• Zinc from animal sources such as meat and
eggs, is absorbed 4 times more efficiently than zinc
derived from plant sources.
The recommended RDA
dietary allowance) is 15mg of zinc for pregnant females.
Although pregnant women's diets tend to be low in
zinc, do not take extra zinc without doctor's approval.
meat (beef, lamb, pork and veal), cooked dried beans
and peas, wheat germ, whole grains, fortified ready
to eat cereals, yogurt, eggs and oysters