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Zinc supplementation in young children: A review of the literature focusing on diarrhoea prevention and treatment

Liberato, Selma C., Singh, Gurmeet and Mulholland, E. Kim (2015). Zinc supplementation in young children: A review of the literature focusing on diarrhoea prevention and treatment. Clinical Nutrition,34(2):181-188.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 75039815xPUB351
Title Zinc supplementation in young children: A review of the literature focusing on diarrhoea prevention and treatment
Author Liberato, Selma C.
Singh, Gurmeet
Mulholland, E. Kim
Journal Name Clinical Nutrition
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 34
Issue Number 2
ISSN 0261-5614   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84924423478
Start Page 181
End Page 188
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES
Abstract Background & aims
It is estimated that zinc deficiency is responsible for 4.4% of childhood deaths in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This review examines the impact of zinc supplementation, administered prophylactically or therapeutically, on diarrhoea.

Methods

Relevant published articles were identified through systematic searches of electronic databases. Bibliographies of retrieved articles were examined.

Results

A total of 38 studies were included in this review, 29 studies examined the effect of prophylactic zinc and nine studies examined the effects of therapeutic use of zinc for treatment of diarrhoea in children under five years.

Conclusion

Prophylactic zinc has been shown to be effective in decreasing both prevalence and incidence of diarrhoea, reducing respiratory infections and improving growth in children with impaired nutritional status. There is less conclusive evidence of reduction in diarrhoea duration or diarrhoea severity. While prophylactic zinc decreases mortality due to diarrhoea and pneumonia, it has not been shown to affect overall mortality.

Therapeutic use of zinc for the treatment of diarrhoea in children has been shown to reduce diarrhoea incidence, stool frequency and diarrhoea duration as well as respiratory infections in zinc deficient children. However, stool output is only reduced in children with cholera. Less conclusive evidence exists for therapeutic zinc reducing mortality due to diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Specific definitions of diarrhoea severity, respiratory infection in further studies as well as examination of prophylactic zinc effectiveness in diarrhoea duration and severity effectiveness of therapeutic zinc in reducing mortality due to diarrhoea and respiratory infections are warranted.
Keywords Diarrhoea
Respiratory infection
Growth
Zinc deficiency
Oral zinc
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2014.08.002   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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