Article

Nutrition intervention strategies to combat zinc deficiency in developing countries.

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Nutrition Research Reviews (Impact Factor: 3.86). 07/1998; 11(1):115-31. DOI: 10.1079/NRR19980008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Widespread zinc deficiency is likely to exist in developing countries where staple diets are predominantly plant based and intakes of animal tissues are low. The severe negative consequences of zinc deficiency on human health in developing countries, however, have only recently been recognized. An integrated approach employing targeted supplementation, fortification and dietary strategies must be used to maximize the likelihood of eliminating zinc deficiency at a national level in developing countries. Supplementation is appropriate only for populations whose zinc status must be improved over a relatively short time period, and when requirements cannot be met from habitual dietary sources. As well, the health system must be capable of providing consistent supply, distribution, delivery and consumption of the zinc supplement to the targeted groups. Uncertainties still exist about the type, frequency, and level of supplemental zinc required for prevention and treatment of zinc deficiency. Salts that are readily absorbed and at levels that will not induce antagonistic nutrient interactions must be used. At a national level, fortification with multiple micronutrients could be a cost effective method for improving micronutrient status, including zinc, provided that a suitable food vehicle which is centrally processed is available. Alternatively, fortification could be targeted for certain high risk groups (e.g. complementary foods for infants). Efforts should be made to develop protected fortificants for zinc, so that potent inhibitors of zinc absorption (e.g. phytate) present either in the food vehicle and/or indigenous meals do not compromise zinc absorption. Fortification does not require any changes in the existing food beliefs and practices for the consumer and, unlike supplementation, does not impose a burden on the health sector. A quality assurance programme is required, however, to ensure the quality of the fortified food product from production to consumption. In the future, dietary modification/diversification, although long term, may be the preferred strategy because it is more sustainable, economically feasible, culturally acceptable, and equitable, and can be used to alleviate several micronutrient deficiencies simultaneously, without danger of inducing antagonistic micronutrient interactions. Appropriate dietary strategies include consumption of zinc-dense foods and those known to enhance zinc absorption, reducing the phytic acid content of plant based staples via enzymic hydrolysis induced by germination/fermentation or nonenzymic hydrolysis by soaking or thermal processing. All the strategies outlined above should be integrated with ongoing national food, nutrition and health education programmes, to enhance their effectiveness and sustainability, and implemented using nutrition education and social marketing techniques. Ultimately the success of any approach for combating zinc deficiency depends on strong advocacy, top level commitment, a stable infrastructure, long term financial support and the capacity to control quality and monitor and enforce compliance at the national or regional level. To be cost effective, costs for these strategies must be shared by industry, government, donors and consumers.

0 Followers
 · 
182 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ackground and Aim: Zinc is essential for human health and its deficiency can lead to various biochemical disorders. The aim of this study was to determine serum zinc concentration in the middle school Students of Sanandaj in 2006 and its relation with gender, body mass index (BMI) and educational status. Material and Methods: In this cross sectional study 301 Students in the middle schools of Sanandaj were selected randomly. BMI was calculated and educational status was obtained from school educational records. Serum zinc concentration was measured by use of flame-atomic absorption spectrometry. Collected data was analyzed by means of T-test, analysis of variance and Pearson's correlation coefficient statistical techniques. Results: Regardless of gender, the mean concentration of zinc in serum was 90.1 ±19.1 μg/dl. The mean concentration of serum zinc levels in boys (93.6 ±22.6 μg/d) was significantly higher (87.4 ±15.4 μg/dl) than that of girls (p<0.05). In 31.2% of the Students serum zinc concentration was lower than normal value. No correlation was found between serum zinc concentration, BMI and educational status of the Students. Conclusion: More than thirty percent of middle school Students in Sanandaj suffer from severe or mild zinc deficiency. Considering the importance of zinc in human health, further studies are needed to determine the prevalence of zinc deficiency in Sanandaj in order to plan for future interventions.
    Scientific Journal of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences 01/2008;
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Zinc (Zn) is essential for appropriate growth and proper immune function, both of whichmay be impaired in thalassemia children. Factors that can affect serumZn levels in these patientsmay be related to their disease or treatment or nutritional causes.We assessed the serum Zn levels of children with thalassemia paired with a sibling. Zn levels were obtained from 30 children in Islamabad, Pakistan. Serum Zn levels and anthropometric data measures were compared among siblings. Thalassemia patients’ median age was 4.5 years (range 1–10.6 years) and siblings was 7.8 years (range 1.1–17 years).The median serum Zn levels for both groups were within normal range: 100 𝜇g/dL (10 𝜇g/dL–297 𝜇g/dL) for patients and 92 𝜇g/dL (13 𝜇g/dL–212 𝜇g/dL) for siblings. There was no significant difference between the two groups. Patients’ serum Zn values correlated positively with their corresponding siblings (𝑟 = 0.635, 𝑃 < 0.001). There were no correlations between patients’ Zn levels, height for age Z-scores, serum ferritin levels, chelation, or blood counts (including both total leukocyte and absolute lymphocyte counts). Patients’ serum Zn values correlated with their siblings’ values. In this study, patients with thalassemia do not seem to have disease-related Zn deficiency.
    Anemia 08/2014; DOI:10.1155/2014/125452

Preview

Download
3 Downloads