e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Zinc supplementation during pregnancy

The central role of zinc in cell division, protein synthesis and growth means that an adequate supply of zinc is especially important for pregnant women. During pregnancy, zinc and other micronutrient deficiencies are common due to increased nutrient requirements of the mother and the developing fetus. These deficiencies can negatively impact pregnancy outcomes including the health of the mother and newborn infant.

The available evidence suggests that zinc supplementation during pregnancy may help to reduce preterm births in low-income settings, but does not prevent other suboptimal pregnancy outcomes including low-birth-weight or pre-eclampsia.

Further research is needed to assess the impact of zinc supplementation – either alone or in combination with other micronutrients – before specific recommendations can be made.

WHO recommendations

Further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available


Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

22 July 2015 17:46 CEST

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Biological, behavioural and contextual rationale


There is not yet any implementation information related to this intervention in GINA