Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: This study examined how a women's iron status, lactation, and multivitamin-mineral supplement use influence blood T-cells subpopulations (types of white blood cells). Blood T-cells, T-cytotoxic cells, and T-helper cells were measured at 1-2 weeks, 1, 2, 4 or 8 mo postpartum in 64 breastfeeding, 43 bottle-feeding and 14 control women, who had never been pregnant. In multiparous women T-cytotoxic cells increased with good iron status. In multiparous women who did not lactate or use supplements, T-helper cells were reduced. Lactating women who used supplements had reduced T-helper cells later on at 4-8 mo postpartum. These results suggest that a women's iron status and use of multivitamin-mineral supplements can affect her postpartum immune status.
Technical Abstract: This study examined relationships among postpartum maternal iron status, parity, lactation, multivitamin-mineral supplement use, and maternal blood T-cell subpopulations. Sixty-three lactating and 43 non-lactating postpartum (NLPP) women at 1-2 weeks, 1, 2, 4 or 8 months postpartum and 13 nulliparous women participated in the study. Among multiparous women, percents and absolute counts of CD3+8+ cells were correlated positively with maternal serum transferrin saturation. Multiparous, NLPP women who did not use multivitamin-mineral supplements had reduced CD3+4+ percents in the first month postpartum compared to nulliparous controls. Lactating women who used supplements, however, had reduced percents later in the postpartum period (4-8 months). CD3+4+ percents were similar to those of controls in NLPP women who used supplements and lactating women who did not use them. These results suggest that maternal iron status and use of nutritional supplements influence postpartum maternal immune status.