Taking zinc supplements significantly reduced the risk of death in children between the ages of one and four years, according to a study conducted in Zanzibar by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and published in The Lancet.
• Researchers studied more than 42,500 children in Zanzibar, a country in East Africa. Half the children were given daily zinc supplements and half were given a placebo pill.
• Children between the ages of one and four years who took the supplements were 18 percent less likely to die than children who received the placebo. Among children of all ages, those who took supplements were 7 percent less likely to die.
• Infants participating in the study received a 5 milligram daily zinc dose; children over the age of one year received 10 milligrams.
• Zinc is an essential element, critical for the functioning of certain biological processes including the immune and nervous systems. Insufficient zinc intake during pregnancy can stunt a child's brain development.
• Like all trace metals, zinc can be toxic in high doses, so care should be exercised when taking supplements.
• Quote: "This large trial demonstrates that the benefits of zinc supplementation include mortality reduction in addition to the reduction in cases of pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria that we found in previous trials." - Senior Author Dr. Robert Black
• This problem is not merely relevant to Zanzibar. The sad fact is that most American adults and children are chronically deficient in zinc. As a result, they heal more slowly than normal, their nervous systems function at sub-optimal levels, and their immune systems are in a state of chronic suppression.
• Zinc is one of the least expensive nutritional supplements known. For mere pennies a day, parents can protect the health and lives of themselves and their children by supplementing with zinc.