Researchers from the Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research were involved in a recent study published in the journal Neurotoxicology. The study focused on the impact of differing zinc and selenium levels on neonatal neurological development. Cord blood samples were collected to complete testing.

More than 900 women/newborn pairs were included in data collection. Multiple birthing centers were involved. Cord blood/serum was collected and tested for zinc and selenium levels. NBNA (Neonatal Behavioral Neurological Assessments) were used to account for the effects on neurological development.

Researchers found a correlation between elevated zinc and decreased NBNA scores. The same correlation was found in cases of higher than normal selenium levels. The most predominant effect was in neonates with high zinc and high selenium, which affected passive tone and behavior. High zinc levels were found in about 50% of the samples. Researchers believe zinc supplementation should be reconsidered during pregnancy.

Source: Yang X, Yu X, Fu H, Li L, Ren T. Different levels of prenatal zinc and selenium had different effects on neonatal neurobehavioral development. Neurotoxicology. 2013 Apr 6. pii: S0161-813X(13)00053-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2013.04.001.