Zinc Benefits Infants with Serious Infection
Zinc supplements reduce the duration and severity of illness in childhood diarrhea
Zinc improves outcomes
In this study, researchers looked at the role of zinc supplementation in treating infection and reducing death rates in 700 infants with serious infection who were between 7 and 120 days old. The infants were randomly assigned to receive zinc sulphate (10 mg of elemental zinc) or placebo daily, and they were evaluated for improvement for a study period of 21 days. All infants received antibiotic treatment.
Results showed that the zinc group had a 40% reduced risk of treatment failure compared with the placebo group. Zinc supplementation was more effective in children who had diarrhea compared with those who did not.
The study authors comment, "A reduced risk of treatment failure will shorten time in hospital, lower use of high-generation antimicrobials and treatment cost, and possibly reduce mortality." Further research is needed to understand the role of zinc supplementation in serious infection.
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(Lancet 2012; 379: 2072-8)
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker