Associations of maternal zinc and magnesium with offspring learning abilities and cognitive development at 4 years in GUSTO

Jun S Lai, Shirong Cai, Lei Feng, Lynette P Shek, Fabian Yap, Kok Hian Tan, Yap Seng Chong, Keith M Godfrey, Michael J Meaney, Anne Rifkin-Graboi, Birit F P Broekman, Mary F F Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Minerals deficiencies during pregnancy have been shown to be associated with poorer cognitive outcomes in offspring. This study aimed to investigate associations of maternal plasma zinc and magnesium concentrations with cognitive development in 4-year old children from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcome cohort. Methods: Maternal plasma zinc and magnesium concentrations were measured at 26-28 weeks' gestation. The Lollipop test of school readiness, tests of working memory, number knowledge, receptive vocabulary, and phonological awareness were performed in children at 4 years. Associations were examined in 715 mother-offspring pairs using linear regressions adjusted for key confounders. Results: Maternal plasma zinc and magnesium concentrations were 812 ± 144 µg/L and 19.9 ± 1.8 mg/L (mean±SD); 19% and 71% of mothers were zinc deficient and magnesium insufficient, respectively. After adjustment for multiple testing, higher maternal zinc concentrations (per SD increment) were associated with 0.35 higher scores in Lollipop subtest 2 of picture description and spatial identification (95% CI: 0.13, 0.58); higher maternal magnesium concentrations (per SD increment) were associated with 0.65 higher scores in Lollipop subtest 4 of letters and writing identification (95% CI: 0.23, 1.07). Discussion: No significant associations were observed for other tests, suggesting little long term influences of maternal zinc and magnesium on child's cognitive development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNutritional neuroscience
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2019

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