Zinc supplementation for children with respiratory infections
Zinc is essential for the normal growth and development of children and is naturally found in the diet, mainly in foods of animal origin. A dietary deficiency of zinc can lead to impaired gastrointestinal and immune function, and stunted growth.
Several researchers have suggested that zinc supplementation may reduce the frequency and severity of respiratory infections in children, although there have been mixed results overall. Pneumonia is the most severe form of acute lower respiratory tract infection and is the leading cause of death in children worldwide.
Further research is therefore needed, in particular to better understand the optimal supplementation dosage and to investigate the effects of zinc supplementation in conjunction with antibiotics.
Status: guidelines not currently available
Other systematic reviews
Role of zinc administration in prevention of childhood diarrhea and respiratory illnesses: a meta-analysis.