Copper and selenium status of healthy pregnant women in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria.Niger J Clin Pract. 2011 Oct-Dec; 14(4):408-12.NJ
Copper and selenium are important trace elements in man. They function as antioxidants and play roles in oxido-reductase reactions. Several imported multivitamin preparations are given to our women during pregnancy and lactation to correct possible deficiencies.
The aim of the study is to determine the serum level of these micronutrients (selenium and copper) in a cross section of pregnant women in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross section of 130 healthy pregnant women at different trimesters of pregnancy and 30 non-pregnant controls were selected from two health facilities in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria. Serum from the samples collected was assayed for copper and selenium using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
The mean copper level increased (P = 0.018), while the selenium level decreased (P < 0.0001) as pregnancy advanced.
High copper levels indicate that supplementation should not be undertaken during normal pregnancy. Dietary intake should be modified to ensure optimal selenium levels during pregnancy.