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December 27, 1995

Zinc Supplementation During Pregnancy-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Alabama Birmingham
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa

JAMA. 1995;274(24):1910. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530240019023

In Reply.  —We appreciate the interest in the clinical significance and ethical aspects of our article. Prior to initiating the study, we believed that evidence for improvement in pregnancy outcome by zinc supplementation was unconvincing,1-3 and we recommended folic acid and iron supplementation only. Therefore, zinc was not withheld. Each woman received nutritional counseling and a prenatal tablet that did not contain zinc. We studied African-American women because low birth weight is a major problem in this population.Although most investigators believe that plasma zinc is a poor measure of zinc nutriture, we studied women with zinc levels below the median to maximize the potential effect, if any, of zinc supplementation. No subject was overtly zinc deficient. Before the study, we did not know the subjects' zinc intake; data reported were obtained during the study. We emphasize that our project was approved by our institutional review board and by

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