Each Evidence Update is a 2-page summary of a Cochrane Review of healthcare interventions relevant to people in low-income and middle-income countries. This Evidence Update is adapted from Lazzerini M, Ronfani L. Oral zinc for treating diarrhoea in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD005436. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005436.pub3.
What does the research say?
The effects of zinc in acute diarrhoea:
- In children aged over 6 months, zinc may shorten the duration of diarrhoea by about half a day.
- In children with signs of moderate malnutrition, zinc shortens the duration of diarrhoea by around a whole day.
- In children aged under 6 months, zinc may have no benefit on the duration of diarrhoea.
- Zinc increases vomiting in all age groups.
- There is currently not enough evidence to be able to say whether zinc reduces death or hospitalization.
Jones, B. Do children benefit from taking oral zinc during acute diarrhoea? Evidence Update, Child Health Series, December 2012. Effective Health Care Research Programme Consortium, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK (2012) 2 pp.