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Zinc and childhood infectious disease morbidity and mortality *

Zinc is an essential mineral and deficiency results in abnormal immune function and higher rates of infectious diseases. Randomized controlled trials of zinc supplementation have been conducted in children in developing countries to determine effects on infectious disease morbidity and mortality. Zinc-supplemented children have been found to have lower rates of diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria in comparison with children not given zinc. Zinc used as an adjunct to fluid and dietary management of acute and persistent diarrhea has been found to reduce diarrheal duration and severity. Preliminary evidence suggests that zinc supplementation in children in poor developing country settings may also reduce infant mortality, but larger trials are needed to address this important issue. Preventive and therapeutic interventions should be implemented in developing countries where zinc deficiency is likely to be prevalent.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-11-2008
Authors: Robert E. Blacka1 c1 and Sunil Sazawala1
Source: Cambridge University Press 09 Mar 2007