The relationship between zinc intake and growth in children aged 1–8 years

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No statistically significant improvement of several indices of childhood growth following zinc supplementation in children aged 1–8 years of age was observed. Most of the studies included in the review involved children who were stunted, therefore it is likely that multiple micronutrient deficiencies were present, which is why zinc alone did not significantly improve growth.

Zinc deficiency presents a serious problem, particularly for young children experiencing rapid periods of growth, as stunting can occur. This review aims to assess the existing evidence on zinc intake and growth in children aged one to eight years. Nine studies were included in this review and for meta-analysis. Results showed no significant effect of zinc supplementation for children between 2 weeks and 12 months on weight gain, height for age, weight for age, length for age, weight for height (WHZ). No significant effect of supplementation on WHZ scores in children aged 1–8 years was observed. It was noted that many of the children in the included studies were already stunted and may have been suffering from multiple micronutrient deficiencies, and therefore zinc supplementation alone may have only a limited effect on growth.

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