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Zinc helps children with diarrhoea

Zinc supplements can be useful for children suffering from acute or persistent diarrhoea.

Zinc helps children with diarrhoea

Zinc supplements can be useful for children suffering from acute or persistent diarrhoea. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diarrhoea is estimated to kill two million children every year, across the globe. And most of these children belong to middle or low-income countries. Besides the regular treatment, it is believed that treatment with zinc supplements can cut the severity and duration of acute or persistent diarrhoea in children. To test the efficacy of zinc supplements in treating diarrhoea in children, researchers the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta analysed data from 22 relevant studies, including 16 that focused on the benefits of zinc in 15,231 children with acute diarrhoea and six that looked at 2968 children with persistent diarrhoea. The results showed that zinc use helped in cutting the average duration of both acute and persistent diarrhoea and also produced an anti-diarrhoeal effect. It was found that zinc therapy reduced the average stool frequency by 18.8 percent and 12.5 percent in children with acute and persistent diarrhoea, respectively. Moreover, zinc supplements also helped prevent diarrhoea. Treatment with zinc supplements reduced the occurrence of both types of diarrhea by roughly 18 percent relative to placebo. The workers concluded that zinc therapy is useful, both in the treatment and prophylaxis of acute and persistent diarrhoea.
Pediatrics,
February 2008
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