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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 408-412

Copper and selenium status of healthy pregnant women in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria


1 Department of Physiology/Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine, Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria
3 Department of Medical Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Nigeria
4 Department of Hematology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
U I Nwagha
Department of Physiology/Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.91745

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Background: 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. Objective: 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. Results: The mean copper level increased (P = 0.018), while the selenium level decreased (P < 0.0001) as pregnancy advanced. Conclusion: 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.


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