Effect of Oral Contraceptive Agents on Nutrients: I. Minerals

Am J Clin Nutr. 1975 Apr;28(4):377-84. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/28.4.377.


The epidemiological aspects of oral contraceptive agents on nutrient metabolism were studied in a large population of women. Incidence of clinical abnormalities, related to malnutrition, were more frequently observed in the lower (B) as compared to the higher (A) socioeconomic groups. In the A groups some clinical signs were more common in the nonsupplemented groups of subjects. In general, the intake of oral contraceptive agent subjects for calories, protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc did not differ from the controls. The intake of the above nutrients in group A subjects were higher than those of group B except for calories. The subjects who took supplements had higher intakes of calcium, iron, magnesium and copper. No effect of oral contraceptive agents was seen on hemoglobin, hematocrit and erythrocyte count. Serum iron was increased due to "Norinyl." Total iron binding capacity was increased as a result of oral contraceptive agent administration. Total iron binding capacity values were higher in group B as compared to group A and in the nonsupplemented as compared to the supplemented groups. Plasma copper was increased and plasma zinc was decreased as a result of oral contraceptive agent administration. An increase in erythrocyte zinc was observed due to "Norinyl." No effect of oral contraceptive agents on plasma calcium, magnesium and erythrocyte magnesium was observed. Although no effect of oral contraceptive agents on plasma total protein was found, serum albumin was decreased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Calcium / blood
  • Contraceptives, Oral / pharmacology*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic / pharmacology*
  • Copper / blood
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Magnesium / blood
  • Mestranol / pharmacology
  • Metals* / blood
  • Norethindrone / pharmacology
  • Norgestrel / pharmacology
  • Nutrition Disorders / etiology
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Zinc / blood


  • Blood Proteins
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
  • Metals
  • Norgestrel
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Copper
  • Mestranol
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Norethindrone