Zinc supplementation may decrease the incidence of diarrhea and other childhood ailments and illnesses more so than zinc plus vitamins and other minerals, according to a study published in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (79, 3:457-65, 2004) (www.ajcn.org). Researchers randomly assigned 246 Peruvian children (between the ages of 6 months and 35 months) who suffered from persistent diarrhea a daily supplement of zinc (10 mg/d), zinc plus vitamins and other minerals (at one to two times the recommended daily intakes) or placebo for approximately six months; all children began supplementation after their diarrheic episode had ended. Zinc levels and other indicators of micronutrient status were measured at the start and at the end of the study. Physical growth factors, including body weight and length, were measured monthly, and the incidence and severity of diarrhea was reported weekly.
Plasma zinc levels increased over the six-month supplementation period to a greater extent in both zinc-supplemented groups compared to the placebo group, according to the study. Fewer episodes of diarrhea, dysentery and respiratory illness were reported in the group receiving zinc only, compared to the group receiving zinc plus vitamins and other minerals. The zinc-only group also reported fewer incidences of fever and cough than the zinc/vitamin and mineral group. No significant effects of supplementation on growth were observed.
Source: Natural Products Industry Insider.