Dietary intake in immigrant Arabian pregnant women.Saudi Med J. 2006 Jul; 27(7):1019-21.SM
We examined the intake of dietary micronutrients of immigrant Arabian pregnant women in Greece, in order to investigate the possible factors influencing food intake and affecting the overall nutritional profile.
A dietary assessment of 497 immigrant Arabian pregnant women, admitted to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Outpatient Clinic, Tzaneion General Hospital, Piraeus city, Vyronas Health Center, and Alexandras General Hospital, Athens, Greece was performed between August 2002 and August 2005, along with a comparison of micronutrient intake with the latest dietary recommendations. We carried out blood analysis, and measurements of serum micronutrients in all participants.
Four hundred and sixty-seven out of 497 (94%) women followed the traditional Arabian diet, and did not use drug medication or supplements during gestation. The mean dietary intakes of vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and phosphorus in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters were similar to the respective values of the Dietary Reference Intake, while the mean dietary intake of vitamin D was relatively low. The mean intakes of folic acid and iron were lower than the respective values, while the mean intakes of vitamin A and magnesium was slightly higher. The results of the laboratory tests were normal in 470 women (94.5%) except those regarding iron deficiency anemia, which was relatively common.
Our findings suggest that apart from iron and folic acid supplementation, no further changes would be necessary in the dietary patterns of immigrant Arabian pregnant women, since their traditional nutritional habits seem to provide all micronutrients in sufficient quantities.