Efficacy of zinc in young infants with acute watery diarrhea

W. Abdullah Brooks, Mathuram Santosham, Swapan K. Roy, Abu S.G. Faruque, M. Abdu l. Wahed, Kamrun Nahar, Ashrafu'l I. Khan, A. Fazu l. Khan, George J. Fuchs, Robert E. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies reported that zinc significantly reduced the duration and volume of acute watery diarrhea in children aged ≥4 mo, but there were no data specifically on infants aged <6 mo. Objective: This study investigated the effect of zinc on the duration of illness and the stool quantity in acute watery diarrhea of infants aged 1-6 mo by comparing a 20 mg Zn/d dose with a 5 mg Zn/d dose. Design: Infants hospitalized with at least some dehydration (by World Health Organization classification) were enrolled in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Infants were randomly assigned to receive 20 mg Zn (acetate)/d, 5 mg Zn/d, or placebo for the duration of illness. Results: Two hundred seventy-five infants were enrolled between 20 September 1998 and 18 December 2000. Neither diarrhea duration nor mean stool volume differed between groups. There were no significant differences in fluid intake, the need for unscheduled intravenous fluid, weight gain, or vomiting rates between the groups. Conclusions: Zinc supplementation did not affect diarrhea duration or stool volume in young infants. Young infants tolerated both zinc doses. A beneficial effect on subsequent illness cannot be ruled out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-610
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Acute watery diarrhea
  • B
  • Bangladesh
  • Children
  • Dehydration
  • Hospitalized children
  • Infants
  • International Center for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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