Differential Iron Status and Trafficking in Blood and Placenta of Anemic and Non-anemic Primigravida Supplemented with Daily and Weekly Iron Folic Acid Tablets

Hari Shankar, Neeta Kumar, Rajat Sandhir, Sanjay Pandey, Saurabh Singh, Priyanka Verma, M. P. Singh, Tulsi Adhikari, Suneeta Mittal, D. N. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: The molecular mechanism of iron transfer across placenta in response to maternal anemic status/ iron supplementation is not clear. We hypothesized that maternal iron/ anemia status during early trimesters can be utilized as a biomarker tool to get estimates of placental iron status. Early interventions can be envisaged to maintain optimum placental/ foetal iron levels for healthy pregnancy outcomes. One hundred twenty primigravida were recruited and divided into non-anemic and anemic group on the basis of hemoglobin levels. The groups were randomly allocated to receive daily and weekly iron folic acid (IFA) tablets till six weeks postpartum. Hematological and iron status markers in blood and placenta were studied along with the delivery notes. Weekly IFA supplementation in anemic primigravidas resulted in significantly reduced levels of hematological markers (p < 0.01); whereas non-anemic primigravidas showed lower ferritin and iron levels, and higher soluble transferrin receptor levels (p < 0.05). At baseline, C-reactive protein and cortisol hormone levels were also significantly lower in non-anemic primigravidas (p < 0.05). A significantly decreased placental ferritin expression (p < 0.05); and an increased placental transferrin expression was seen in anemic primigravidas supplemented with weekly IFA tablets. A significant positive correlation was observed between serum and placental ferritin expression in anemic pregnant women (r = 0.80; p < 0.007). Infant weight, gestational length and placental weight were comparable in both the supplementation groups. To conclude, mother’s serum iron / anemia status switches the modulation in placental iron transporter expression for delivering the optimum iron to the foetus for healthy pregnancy outcomes. Trial Registration: Clinical Trial Registry-India: CTRI/2014/10/005135.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalIndian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Iron folic acid supplementation
  • Iron transport
  • Placenta
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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