Oral zinc for treating diarrhoea in children
Citation: Galvao T.F., Thees M.F.R.S., Pontes R.F., et al. Zinc supplementation for treating diarrhea in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2013;33(5):370–7
In areas where the prevalence of zinc deficiency or the prevalence of moderate malnutrition is high, zinc may be of benefit in children aged six months or more.The current evidence does not support the use of zinc supplementation in children below six months of age.
Zinc supplementation is recommended by WHO and UNICEF. In areas where the prevalence of zinc deficiency or the prevalence of moderate malnutrition is high, zinc may be of benefit in children aged six months or more. But the current evidence does not support the use of zinc supplementation in children below six months of age.
There is currently not enough evidence to confirm that whether zinc supplementation during acute diarrhoea reduces death or hospitalization. But in children aged more than six months with acute diarrhoea, zinc supplementation may shorten the duration of diarrhoea. In children over six months with malnutrition zinc appears to reduce the duration of moderate diarrhoea. In children aged less than six months, the available evidence suggests zinc supplementation may have no effect on mean diarrhoea duration. In children aged over six months with persistent diarrhoea, zinc supplementation may shorten the duration of diarrhoea. The majority of the data included in the 24 included trials are from Asia, from countries at high risk of zinc deficiency, and may not be applicable elsewhere.
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