ANTIOXIDANT MICRONUTRIENTS IN PREGNANT WOMEN FROM SOME RURAL COMMUNITIES IN ENUGU AND EBONYI STATES OF NIGERIA.

AUTHOR: OGBODO, SYLVESTER OGBONNA

DEPARTMENT: APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

Micronutrient status of a pregnant woman is an important determinant of fetal growth and survival, and deficiencies of these micronutrients can alter pregnancy  outcome. Since pregnancy comes with a lot of physiological and pathological stress, this study was aimed at measuring the blood levels of micronutrient antioxidants in pregnant women and comparing them with those of non-pregnant women (controls). This is to assess the effect of normal pregnancy on these antioxidants. The micronutrients included vitamins – A, C and E, and trace elements – copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. The haemoglobin levels of the subjects were also determined. The patients were pregnant women attending antennal clinics for the first time in their current respective pregnancies in health centres from Abakpa and Emene communities of Enugu State, and Ezzamgbo and Onueke communities of Ebonyi State of Nigeria. Controls were age-matched, nonpregnant and apparently healthy women who were not in their menstrual periods during the time of sample collection. The pregnant women were first divided into three groups according to their gestational ages (trimesters), and later into another three groups according to the number of life births each has had prior to the commencement of the study (parity). The trace elements were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) while vitamins and haemoglobin were assayed spectrophotometrically. From the results, all the three vitamins – A, C and E, showed significant decrease in pregnancy (p<0.001), with 46.77 ± 1.54μg/dL in control and 16.69 ± 0.58μg/dL in pregnancy for vitamin A, 75.65 ± 2.10mg/dL in control and 40.56 ± 1.55mg/dL in pregnancy for vitamin C, and 4.11 ± 0.10mg/dL in control and 2.03 ± 0.15mg/dL in pregnancy for vitamin E. Only selenium and zinc showed significant decreases during pregnancy (p < 0.001), with 108.85 ± 2.09μg/dL in controls and 88.48 ± 1.45μg/dL in pregnancy for selenium, and 4.36 ± 0.29 mg/dL in controls and 3.26 ± 0.11 mg/dL in pregnancy for zinc. Copper showed insignificant decrease during pregnancy (p>0.05), with 1.68 ± 0.09mg/dL in controls and 1.48 ± 0.06mg/dL in pregnancy, while only manganese showed significant increase (p=0.001) with 0.25 ± 0.01mg/dL in controls and 0.54 ±0.04mg/dL in pregnancy. Haemoglobin levels obtained from this study included 12.79 ± 0.12g/dL for control and 11.46 ± 0.13g/dL for pregnant women, showing significant decrease (p<0.001). All the micronutrients that decreased significantly in pregnancy had non-significant negative correlation with gestational age (p>0.05), while only manganese had positive, albeit non-significant correlation with gestational age (p>0.05). This study showed wide range of micronutrient antioxidants deficiencies in pregnancy, particularly those with immune functions – the vitamins, selenium and zinc. This could imply that our rural area women need supplementation of these micronutrients during pregnancy, except manganese. The information provided by this study will serve as a guide to obstetricians and other pregnancy managers, as well as other healthcare providers, especially in the rural areas, for fruitful parturition and general populations’ well being. More work is needed to be done in this area to correlate the levels of these antioxidants and some pregnancy complications and outcomes.

TO VIEW THE FULL CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, PLEASE VISIT THE UNIZIK LIBRARY WEBSITE USING THIS LINK, http://www.naulibrary.org/dglibrary/admin/book_directory/Thesis/10962.pdf

 

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