e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Zinc supplementation in children with respiratory infections

Pneumonia is a severe form of acute lower respiratory tract infection and is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age worldwide.

Zinc is important for cellular growth, cellular differentiation and metabolism and deficiency limits childhood growth and decreases resistance to infections. Although severe zinc deficiency is rare in humans, mild to moderate deficiency may be common worldwide.

Several studies have suggested that zinc supplementation may reduce the frequency and severity of respiratory infections in children, however results thus far have been inconsistent.

WHO recommendations

Further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.

WHO documents

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available



Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

19 December 2017 14:28 CET

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee


There is not yet any implementation information related to this intervention in GINA

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