Assessment of dietary intake and mineral status in pregnant women

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2018 Jun;297(6):1433-1440. doi: 10.1007/s00404-018-4744-2. Epub 2018 Mar 14.


Purpose: To evaluate the dietary intake of pregnant women and their nutritional status of Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, and Cu, as the nutritional status of pregnant women is an important factor for the proper progression of a pregnancy and the development and health of the foetus.

Methods: The study was conducted on 108 pregnant women ages 18-42, at 6-32 weeks of gestation. We used a questionnaire and a 24-h recall nutrition interview. Hair samples were taken for testing and the level of each mineral was assessed using atomic absorption spectrometry. The results were analysed using the Dietetyk and Statistica 10 software.

Results: Low levels of Fe, Zn, Ca, Mg, vitamin D, and folic acid intake were seen in the pregnant women, with the use of dietary supplements significantly increasing their intake of Fe, Zn, and folic acid. The concentration of zinc and magnesium in the women's hair was shown to be affected by their age and, in the case of magnesium, by the week of pregnancy.

Conclusions: It was observed that the diet of pregnant women is characterised by low levels of Fe, Zn, Ca, Mg, vitamin D, and folic acid. Dietary supplementation with vitamins and minerals significantly increases the daily Fe and folic acid intake in pregnant women. The concentration of Zn and Mg in hair depends on the age of pregnant women and Mg level in the hair of women decreases during pregnancy.

Keywords: Dietary habits; Folic acid; Minerals; Pregnancy; Vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Minerals / administration & dosage*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pregnant Women*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult
  • Zinc / administration & dosage


  • Micronutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Folic Acid
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc