Women who take zinc supplements during pregnancy will give birth to bigger babies, scientists have discovered.
Researchers from the University of Alabama in the US found that a daily dose of 25 mg of zinc throughout pregnancy, starting from the 19th week, had a significant effect on the birth weight of the newborn. It also helped reduce the numbers of premature babies and those with very low birth weights.
Researchers divided 580 pregnant black women who tended to have smaller babies into two groups: one received the zinc supplements, the other a placebo. The zinc group gave birth to babies with a significantly greater birth weight and head circumference, scientists discovered.
The researchers believe their findings are strong enough that zinc should be included as part of the recommended daily intake of pregnant women something that nutritionists like Dr. Stephen Davies have been maintaining for years (JAMA, August 9, 1995).