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Zinc Helps Kids Recover From Pneumonia

Reported May 21, 2004

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A simple zinc supplement can help children with severe pneumonia recover quicker, shows a new study out of Bangladesh.

Noting zinc has been found to boost the immune system and help fight off diarrhea and pneumonia, researchers from the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research tested supplements to determine their effect on children already in the hospital with severe pneumonia.

The study involved 270 children between ages 2 months and 23 months. About half received 20 milligrams of zinc per day while the other half received a placebo supplement for comparison purposes. All the kids received standard antibiotic treatment for their pneumonia.

Results showed kids on the zinc supplements recovered about a day sooner than those on the placebo and stayed in the hospital about a day less. The treatment was well tolerated.

The authors call these results “striking” and urge more studies to confirm the beneficial role of zinc supplements in the treatment of pneumonia. They write, “Such studies would allow the global public-health significance of these findings to be assessed, and the results best applied to improve child health and survival.”

SOURCE: The Lancet, 2004;363:1683-1685

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to:


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