Trace Elements (Zn & Cu) And Plasma Proteins Status In Mauritian Pregnant Women

  • S Goinden
  • P Pugo-Gunsam
  • AH Subratty
Keywords: zinc, copper, total proteins, pregnancy, albumin, globulin.


During pregnancy there is usually a fluctuation in the levels of trace elements in the body. The level of  copper for example may rise whilst that of zinc may fall. Plasma zinc and copper levels were measured in pregnant and non-pregnant women (mean age 25±6 and 23±5 years respectively). A commercially  available kit was used for the direct determination of zinc while copper assay was performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Total plasma proteins, albumin and globulin levels were also measured by colorimetric method using commercially available kits. Plasma zinc and copper levels in pregnant women were found to be 99.3 ± 10.8 g/dl and 180 ± 31.4 g/dl respectively compared to mean values of 111.8 ± 7.2g/dl for zinc and 153.2 ± 15.2 for copper g/dl in the non-pregnant group. Plasma proteins were also significantly lower (p<0.05) in the pregnant individuals. Mean values of 63 ± 8.7g/l for total plasma  proteins, 37.2 ± 4.7 g/l for albumin and 25.8 ± 10.7g/l for globulin were obtained for the pregnant women. In the controls, total protein level was 79.6± 3.8 g/l, albumin level was 43.4 ±2.6 g/l and globulin 36.1 ± 5 g/l. In conclusions, our findings indicate that high level of copper during pregnancy may be responsible  for the lowering of zinc level since these two metals are known antagonists. In addition, lower levels of  albumin and globulin that are all carriers of zinc in the body may also be implicated in the lower zinc level during pregnancy.

Key words: zinc, copper, total proteins, pregnancy, albumin, globulin.


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eISSN: 1694-0342