Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 269–282 | Cite as

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

  • Po Lau Leung
  • Han Ming Huang
  • Da Ze Sun
  • MeI Guang Zhu
Original Articles


In 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 gluconic acidic zinc (noted as Zn-nutrient), gluconic acidic calcium (Ca-nutrient), or/and ferrous sulfate (Fe-nutrient) which were correspondent to the deficient element(s) for more than 2 mo before 84 subjects returned to hospital for further diagnoses and had their hair element levels measured for the second time. Finally, in the third trimester or nearparturient 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.

The concentrations of hair Ca, Fe, and Zn were measured by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry. 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 Ca, Fe, and Zn could reflect the effects of supplementation. Also, the mutual resistant effects among Ca-, Fe-, and Zn-nutrients were revealed. However, by appropriate combination, the mutual resistant 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.

Index entries

Calcium iron zinc pregnancy deficiency mineral element nutrient X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry China 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Po Lau Leung
    • 1
  • Han Ming Huang
    • 1
  • Da Ze Sun
    • 2
  • MeI Guang Zhu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Materials ScienceCity University of Hong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Tianjin Technical Physical InstituteTianjinP.R. China
  3. 3.Gynaecological and Obstetric Center Hospital of TianjinTianjinP.R. China

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