Zinc and Pregnancy

If you are a regular reader of WellPostpartum Weblog, you already know that zinc deficiency is known to prevent conversion of Omega-3 to the good prostoglandins that fight inflammation.

And, you know that zinc (among other things) is required to help prevent and treat severe anxiety reactions, including postpartum psychosis, by lowering excess copper.

Stay tuned to WellPostpartum Weblog for an in-depth report on all known data linking the importance of zinc to mental health.

Today’s post is a good starting point in the understanding of the importance of zinc in general, and it’s need in pregnancy.


(NaturalNews) We are constantly being told that to keep our bodies in tip top condition we need to take vitamin supplements, whether it be Vitamin C to help fight colds and to boost the immune system, Vitamin B for increased energy or spirulina for an all round blast of nutrients. But recent studies have shown that zinc is the one mineral that many of us lack and the one that none of us can afford to be without.Zinc and the cold virus

It has long been recognized that Zinc is essential to all living things in maintaining healthy skin, bones, teeth and even brain function. It is thought that teenagers with acne problems are actually suffering from a Zinc deficiency, with many experts now prescribing Zinc supplements for severe cases. But maintaining healthy hair and skin is not the only thing that Zinc is good for. Zinc is fast gaining the same reputation as Vitamin C for fighting cold and flu like symptoms. This is mainly due to a 2002 study conducted at an American High School. Students were given Zinc lozenges to see if there was a reduction in the number of reported cases of cold and flu viruses. The results were published in a 2002 issue of the American Journal of Therapeutics and showed a massive 62% drop in reports of cold like symptoms and an increase in student attendance. While this seems to prove that Zinc has great preventative measures and helps build the immune system, other studies have shown that taking Zinc while you have a cold can reduce the duration of the symptoms from an average of nine days to an average of 3. “Zinc is a great tool in the battle against colds,” says Dr Phillip Melville.

Zinc and diabetes

Diabetes is caused by a malfunction of the insulin producing pancreas and can lead to complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disease. While the only real tool for fighting diabetes is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a study conducted at Harvard University seems to show that taking Zinc may stimulate the pancreas therefore helping control diabetes. Dr Robert Young Director of Research at the pH Miracle Living Center says, “The mineral zinc can reduce dietary and metabolic acid supporting the pancreas and its insulin producing beta cells and protect the alkaline environment of the small intestine, responsible for the creation of stem cells, erythroblasts and erythrocytes.” While this sounds like great news for all diabetes sufferers it is important to note that these studies are still in their early stages.

Zinc and pregnancy

Zinc is an essential element for repair, production and functioning of DNA. It is because of this that it is vitally important that men and women get enough Zinc while trying to conceive as it promotes the production of healthy sperm and eggs. It also means that women need to increase their Zinc intake by around 2 mg throughout their pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This will help ensure that the fetus develops properly and that the breast milk is full of nutrients.

As reported earlier in my post on the effectiveness of prenatal vitamins, the RDA for zinc in pregnant women is 20 mg per day, and 25 mg per day for women who are nursing.


One of the most potent sources of Zinc can be found in oysters. Just six medium sized oysters can contain nearly 80mg, which is well over the 15mg daily allowance recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But if like many people you can`t stomach oysters, there are many other foods that you can include in your diet to gain the Zinc your body needs. Breakfast cereals can contain up to 25% of your daily Zinc allowance. Other foods with good Zinc amounts include baked beans, cashew nuts, cheese and kidney beans making it easy to get all the Zinc you need without having to take supplements.

More foods high in zinc, with their milligrams per serving, are as follows:

Oysters, 6 medium 76.7
Beef shanks, cooked, 3 ounces 8.9 
Crab, Alaska king, cooked, 3 ounces 6.5
Pork shoulder, cooked, 3 ounces 4.2
Breakfast cereal fortified with 25% of the DV for zinc, ¾ cup serving 3.8
Chicken leg, roasted, 1 leg 2.7
Pork tenderloin, cooked, 3 ounces 2.5
Lobster, cooked, 3 ounces 2.5
Baked beans, canned, ½ cup 1.7
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 1.6
Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 1 cup 1.6
Raisin bran, ¾ cup 1.3
Chickpeas, ½ cup 1.3
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 1.1
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 1.0
Milk, 1 cup 0.9
Chicken breast, roasted, ½ breast with skin removed 0.9
Cheese, cheddar or mozzarella, 1 ounce 0.9
Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup 0.8
Peas, boiled, ½ cup 0.8
Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet 0.8 
Flounder or sole, cooked, 3 ounces

Personally, I believe modern food is nutritionally deficient and nutritional supplementation is required to prevent PMADs. 

Please read on the effectiveness of prenatal vitamins to find out why it is very important NOT to trust all brands. 

Most women can benefit from using a high-quality prenatal OR POSTNATAL vitamin supplement for three full years,-including several months before pregnancy and at least 1 and 1/2 years after pregnancy- or until the conclusion of breastfeeding, which may be longer.


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