To study the relationships between amniotic fluid and maternal blood nutrient concentrations, we obtained amniotic fluid and blood samples simultaneously from 76 pregnant women at around 17 weeks gestation. Folate and vitamin B-12 levels were measured by microbiological assay and radioassay, respectively, and zinc, copper andiron levels by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Mean concentrations of plasma and red blood cell (RBC) folate and plasma copper of the pregnant women were 38 (± 1, SD), 1,501 (± 374) nmol/L, and 32.7 (± 4.8) μmol/L, respectively, all of which were higher than those of healthy non-pregnant controls (p 0.001). Mean concentrations of plasma vitamin B-12 zinc and iron levels and RBC zinc were 320 (± 130) pmol/L, 12.2 (±2.3), 21.7 (±6.1) and 177 (±30) μmol/L and these were similar to those of non-pregnant controls. Amniotic fluid folate, zinc, copper and iron concentrations were 21 (± 13) nmol/L, 1.4 (± 0.6), 1.7 (± 0.6) and 6.8 (± 2.1) μmol/L, respectively, which were significantly lower than plasma levels (p 0.001). However, this relationship was reversed for vitamin B-12 (650 ± 420 pmol/L). Significant correlations were found between amniotic fluid and maternal plasma and RBC for folate, and between amniotic fluid and maternal plasma for vitamin B-12 (P 0.001). No such correlations were observed for zinc, copper and iron. There was no correlation between amniotic fluid and/or blood nutrient concentrations and pregnancy outcome including birth weight of infants. © by Walter de Gruyter & Co.