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The Efficacy of Elemental Zinc on Acute Diarrhea in Egyptian Infant and Children

Yassmin M. Kamal, Mohamed E.A. Abdelrahim, Amira S.A. Said, Osama E. Botrous, Adel Ahmed, Mohamed H. Meabed.

Diarrhea is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Hence, the aim in the present study was to evaluate the effect of elemental zinc in treatment of diarrhea in children. 100 diarrheic patients (50 females) aged from 1-12 years old collected from the-clinics of pediatric department at Beni suef University Hospital, were divided into two equal groups. Group A received elemental Zinc in the form of Zinc Sulphate (10 mg elemental Zinc daily for infants and 20 mg for children) with the normal diarrhea treatment. Group B received the normal anti-diarrhea treatment only. There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding most of the parameters studied. However, the meanąSD recovery time in group A was significantly higher (p-value=0.019) than in group B. However, when antibiotic alone was used as anti-diarrheal treatment the recovery time in days in group A was less than in group B but with no significant difference. The expected beneficial efficacy of elemental Zinc in the form of Zinc Sulphate on the duration and severity of acute diarrhea was not observed. However, the study showed that Zinc may be effective in diarrhea due to bacterial infections.

Key words: Diarrhea, Zinc, infant, children, anti-diarrheal treatment

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