About 15-percent of women suffer from spontaneous abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. Doctors and researchers are constantly looking for reasons why these spontaneous abortions occur. According to a recent study by the University of Granada, women with low zinc and copper levels may be at increased risk of spontaneous abortion. This is the first human study to link low zinc and copper levels to loss of pregnancy. 

The study included more than 260 women. Half of the women had suffered a miscarriage in the previous year and the other half had given birth after full-term pregnancy. More than 130 variables were taken into consideration during the study. Women were given questionnaires, an ultrasound and blood tests. 

The blood test results showed a deficiency in zinc and copper in the portion of the test group who had experienced miscarriage. Women who carried pregnancy to term did not suffer from the same deficiencies. Researchers believe zinc and copper may play an important part in the earliest developmental stages of pregnancy. 

This study is the first to connect zinc and copper deficiency to miscarriage, so additional studies are needed to confirm the findings, but researchers involved with the study also found other issues with miscarriage that could stimulate additional research. 

There appears to be a connection between drugs taken the first few weeks of pregnancy and miscarriage. Homocysteine, iodine and folate intake also play an important part in a successful pregnancy. Furthermore, coffee intake and smoking appeared in the study, as well. 

Coffee intake during pregnancy has been a topic of hot debate during the past decade. Some studies show coffee intake increases the risk of spontaneous abortion while other studies show coffee is safe during pregnancy. Smoking has always been a concern. 

Source: University of Granada. 30 September, 2011.