The Effect of Zinc (Sulfate & Gluconate) on the Most Common Infectious Diseases


Background: In children of developing countries, zinc deficiency is common and associated with immune impairment and increased risk of serious infectious diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Objective: Evaluation of Zinc therapy (sulfate and gluconate) on the most common infectious diseases (pneumonia and diarrhea) with comparison of effectiveness between them.Patients and Method: - In this study of 390 cases, age ranging from 1 month to 10 years old children from AL- Kadhymia Teaching Hospital and Child Central Teaching Hospital in Al-Eskan, 240 cases having diarrhea (150 cases having acute diarrhea, 90 cases having protracted diarrhea), and other 150 cases having pneumonia (diagnosed by clinical presentation, duration and X- ray findings in the diagnosis of pneumonia). We divided them in to 3 groups the 1st one we gave them zinc sulfate and 2nd group we gave them zinc gluconate for 5 days and 3rd one not put on zinc as control, and we observed the reduction in frequency of passing stool in day1, day3 and day5 and reduction in duration of diarrhea. We also observed improvement in the most important clinical features of pneumonia these are: respiratory rate, chest indrawing, temperature in day1, day3 and day5. Results: We found that both of zinc sulfate and gluconate having effect on decrease of frequency and duration of diarrhea with more significant effect of gluconate over than sulfate in 1-5 months, 4-10 yrs age groups, similar effect in 1-3yrs age, and more effect of sulfate over gluconate in 6-11 months age group, with equal effect of both Zinc sulfate and gluconate in reduction of duration of chronic diarrhea. Significant improvement of respiratory rate, temperature and chest indrawing in the 1st 72 hrs after administration of zinc gluconate over zinc sulfate in all age groups in cases of pneumonia.Conclusions & Recommendations: Zinc supplementation reduces the duration and severity of acute, persistent diarrhea and pneumonia; however, the mechanism by which zinc exerts its antidiarrheal effect has not been fully elucidated. So Zinc sulfate and zinc gluconate should be added in the treatment of diarrhea and pneumonia.