Other Micronutrients

There is relatively limited evidence for the use of other individual micronutrients during pregnancy. In a randomized trial by West et al. in Nepal, vitamin A and beta-carotene supplementation resulted in a 44% overall reduction in maternal mortality [11]. These findings are being confirmed in ongoing trials in Bangladesh and Ghana. Vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy can also lead to increased occurrence of fetal loss; however, given teratogenic concerns, it is recommended that maternal vitamin A intake should not exceed 10,000 IU per day (3,000 mcg/d) [12, 13].

Several trials have failed to identify a consistent benefit of maternal zinc supplementation on pregnancy outcomes such as preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, postpartum hemorrhage, perinatal mortality, and fetal growth [14, 15]. However, some studies have suggested a beneficial effect of zinc on infant neurobehavioral development and immune function, as well as some role in the prevention of congenital malformations, such as cleft lip or palate [14-17].

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