Friday, January 07, 2011

Zinc supplementation in young children

Zinc is an essential element for growth and development of children. Its deficiency is associated with increased risk of infection, particularly diarrhea and pneumonia. Zinc supplementation in children has been reported to prevent pneumonia; however, its effect remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of zinc supplementation in the prevention of pneumonia in children of two to 59 months of age. Analysis showed that zinc supplementation was significantly associated with reducing the incidence and prevalence of pneumonia. Evidence provided so far from randomized controlled trials is sufficient to recommend zinc intake in deficient populations through supplementation, dietary improvements, or fortification, for enhancing child survival. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 12/2010

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