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Importance of Zinc During Pregnancy

It is important to get a full range of vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the body. Women in the period of gestation need an increased amount of significant components to maintain their health. The unborn child in the process of development takes the necessary nutrients from the mother’s body.

Pregnant women should receive the daily norm of zinc, a key trace element for cell development, protein synthesis, amino acids, and nucleic acids. Women become vulnerable to colds during pregnancy. A sufficient intake of zinc per day helps to strengthen the immune system.

The World Health Organization has concluded after research that in the United States about 40 million adults do not receive a daily intake of zinc. Microelement deficiency has a particularly negative effect on the well-being of pregnant women. It is worth discussing the intake of multivitamins with a gynecologist if the diet does not allow you to get the norm of the substance.

Daily intake of zinc during pregnancy

Adult women need up to 10 mg of zinc per day to maintain important bodily functions. For non-pregnant women under 18 – 9 mg is enough. It is necessary to increase the daily dose of microelement consumption during pregnancy since the child draws the substance from the mother’s body.

The rate of zinc intake for pregnant women depends on the age of the expectant mother. For women under 18, 12 mg of the substance per day is enough. Pregnant women aged 19 years and older are recommended to consume 13 mg of zinc per day. Mothers who are breastfeeding should keep the daily intake of the trace element at 13 mg. Increased intake is related to the infant’s need for the substance.

What is the function of zinc in the body?

Zinc is a trace element that is involved in many biological processes. The human body cannot synthesize the substance on its own, so it is important to get it from food. The most trace element is concentrated in the bones and muscles.

It is important for people who are planning a pregnancy to include foods rich in zinc in their diet. The trace element contributes to the proper development of sperm and eggs and increases the fertility of women and men. Sufficient intake of zinc affects the activity of the body in the following way:

Increases immunityThe presence of a trace element affects the body’s resistance to infectious diseases. Antioxidant properties help to resist the development of chronic diseases.

Improves the functioning of the cardiovascular systemZinc contributes to the natural cleansing of blood vessels from cholesterol and triglycerides. Established blood circulation allows the brain to receive enough oxygen and nutrients (which helps improve memory).

Beneficial effect on the condition of the skinA high concentration of zinc in the body helps fight acne. The microelement contributes to the production of collagen from which small wrinkles are smoothed out on the face.

Supports the work of the organs of visionThe substance accelerates the absorption of vitamin A (important for visual acuity). Zinc stops the process of macular degeneration, which often leads to vision loss.

Helps to normalize the amount of sugar in the bloodThe substance takes part in the synthesis of insulin, which regulates the level of sugar in the body.

Strengthens bones – Zinc is just as necessary for bone growth and strength as calcium. Bones become brittle and there is a decrease in their mass with a lack of substance.

Zinc is important for the structure of cells and DNA of the unborn child during fetal development. The element is necessary for the proper development of the child’s brain.

Is it possible to overdose on zinc?

Women who follow a balanced diet cannot provoke an excess of a substance in the body. You can significantly increase the level of zinc in the body by taking synthetic supplements. The use of more than 40 mg of zinc per day is fraught with an overabundance of trace elements in the body.

Substance intoxication is very rare. Symptoms of zinc overdose include nausea and vomiting. Perhaps the manifestation of drowsiness and an increase in body temperature. A chronic overabundance of zinc causes allergic reactions, decreased immunity, and the formation of ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract. You should contact your doctor if you suspect an excess of a substance in the body.

What foods contain zinc?

Zinc is found in a large number of foods available in developed countries. A high concentration of the substance is found in seafood, meat (most of all in beef, and lamb), legumes, dairy products, seeds, nuts, and greens.

It is important to eat fresh vegetables and fruits every day to replenish the body with zinc through dietary regulation. A lot of zinc is found in spinach, which retains its beneficial properties in raw and boiled form. Avocados, pomegranates, and dates are rich in trace elements.

It is important to remember that many useful substances are partially destroyed during the heat treatment of products. It is necessary to balance the menu so that it contains fresh and cooked products.

Amount of Zinc in Common Foods per 1 LB:

Oysters (baked)275 mg
Lobster (boiled)18 mg
Beans15 mg
Cheese23 mg
Pumpkin Seeds45 mg
Sesame Seeds32 mg
Pine Nuts29 mg
Peanut15 mg
Meat14 mg
Oatmeal12 mg

What threatens the lack of zinc for pregnant women?

Women should receive a full range of vitamins and minerals during the period of gestation. Often expectant mothers mistakenly ignore the importance of zinc. The substance plays a key role in the transfer of genetic information from mother to child, cell growth processes, and the formation of antibodies.

Zinc deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage. Toxicosis can last longer due to trace element deficiency. Zinc deficiency is associated with low fetal weight at birth. Additional risks include splitting of the upper jaw and upper palate in an infant.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency in the body include frequent indigestion, inflammation of the skin, and hair loss. The reasons for the deficiency are attributed to insufficient consumption of meat products (vegetarians often suffer), constant stress, and emotional upheaval.

How to know your zinc level

Zinc deficiency does not always present with typical symptoms. Pregnant women should check the level of the substance in the body to find out the need for dietary adjustments. You will need to do a blood test for this. The human body has a cycle that displays the content of the trace element.

The daily peak of zinc occurs at 9 am and 6 pm. It is best to take blood before 9 am to get an accurate result of the analysis. The last meal should be taken eight hours before blood sampling. Sometimes blood is allowed to donate during the day. It is necessary not to eat for four hours before the analysis in this case.

Using zinc supplements during pregnancy

Pregnant women should increase their intake of vitamins, and trace elements since the child receives these substances from the mother. The presence of zinc in many available foods allows you to get the substance naturally. The need for the use of synthetic zinc supplements arises in some cases.

The level of zinc in the body may be insufficient if a woman adheres to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Although there is a high concentration of the microelement in legumes, and green vegetables, the products contain phytates (dull the absorption of zinc by the body).

It is important to get your daily zinc intake during the first trimester of pregnancy. The substance is responsible for protecting the internal organs of the fetus. You can buy multivitamins without a prescription. It is not recommended to self-medicate and buy pills without consulting a doctor. The gynecologist prescribes a zinc supplement according to the indicators based on the tests performed.

Chances of Having Low or High Zinc levels

The reason for the low level of zinc in the human body can be his lifestyle. It has been proven that alcohol abuse, strict diets, and restriction on the food of animal origin provoke a lack of trace elements. Severe stress, excessive physical activity, and intense training affect the decrease in the concentration of zinc in the body.

It is very difficult to provoke an excess of zinc because it does not accumulate in the body. Intoxication is possible with the uncontrolled use of a synthetic substance. The danger in taking zinc is that it is incorrectly combined with other supplements. The quality of multivitamins varies, so you should follow the advice of a gynecologist when taking supplements.

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