[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arsenic contamination of tubewell water is a major public-health problem in Bangladesh. In the recent years, the use of shallow and deep tubewell water for irrigation and the use of excess amount of cheap fertilizers and pesticides containing cadmium pose a serious threat of contamination of arsenic and cadmium in food. In an exploratory study, arsenic and cadmium were measured in foods from Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh, that is extensively affected by arsenic and the economy is agriculture-based. Raw and cooked food samples were collected from village homes (households, n=13) and analyzed to quantify concentrations of arsenic and cadmium using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Washing rice with water before cooking reduced the concentration of arsenic in raw rice by 13-15%. Rice, when cooked with excess water discarded, showed a significant decrease in arsenic concentration compared to that cooked without discarding the water (p<0.001). In contrast, concentration of cadmium did not decrease in cooked rice after discarding water. Cooked rice with discarded water had significantly lower concentration of arsenic compared to raw rice (p=0.002). Raw rice had higher concentration of arsenic compared to raw vegetables (p<0.001); however, no such difference was found for cadmium. Compared to raw vegetables (e.g. arum), concentration of arsenic increased significantly (p=0.024) when cooked with arsenic-contaminated water. Thus, the practice of discarding excess water while cooking rice reduces the concentration of arsenic but not of cadmium in cooked rice. However, water generally not discarded when cooking vegetables to avoid loss of micronutrients consequently retains arsenic. The results suggest that arsenic and cadmium have entered the food-chain of Bangladesh, and the cooking practices influence the concentration of arsenic but not of cadmium in cooked food.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Journal of Health Population and Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dietary fat intake is extremely low in most communities with vitamin A deficiency. However, its role in vitamin A status of pregnant and lactating women is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of supplementing women with fat from mid-/late pregnancy until six months postpartum on their vitamin A status and that of their infants. Women recruited at 5-7 months of gestation were supplemented daily with 20 mL of soybean-oil (n=248) until six months postpartum or received no supplement (n=251). Dietary fat intake was assessed by 24-hour dietary recall at enrollment and at 1, 3 and 6 months postpartum. Concentrations of maternal plasma retinol, β-carotene, and lutein were measured at enrollment and at 1, 3 and 6 months postpartum, and those of infants at six months postpartum. Concentration of breastmilk retinol was measured at 1, 3 and 6 months postpartum. The change in concentration of plasma retinol at three months postpartum compared to pregnancy was significantly higher in the supplemented compared to the control women (+0.04 vs -0.07 μmol/L respectively; p<0.05). Concentrations of plasma β-carotene and lutein declined in both the groups during the postpartum period but the decline was significantly less in the supplemented than in the control women at one month (β-carotene -0.07 vs -0.13 μmol/L, p<0.05); lutein -0.26 vs -0.49 μmol/L, p<0.05) and three months (β-carotene -0.04 vs -0.08 μmol/L, p<0.05; lutein -0.31 vs -0.47 μmol/L, p<0.05). Concentration of breastmilk retinol was also significantly greater in the supplemented group at three months postpartum than in the controls (0.68±0.35 vs 0.55±0.34 μmol/L respectively, p<0.03). Concentrations of infants’ plasma retinol, β-carotene, and lutein, measured at six months of age, did not differ between the groups. Fat supplementation during pregnancy and lactation in women with a very low intake of dietary fat has beneficial effects on maternal postpartum vitamin A status.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Journal of Health Population and Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the national vitamin A and antihelminthic prophylaxis programmes, both intestinal geohelminths and subclinical vitamin A deficiency continue to be prevalent among children in developing countries. Studies on potential synergistic effects of vitamin A supplementation and deworming on retinol status have inconsistent results. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impacts of low-dose beta-carotene supplementation and antihelminthic therapy on serum retinol and beta-carotene concentrations in preschool children of Bangladesh. Two hundred and forty-four children, known to be infected with Ascaris lumbricoides, were randomized into four treatment groups: I-IV. Group I and II received two oral doses of 400 mg of albendazole each, the first dose at baseline and the second dose after four months; Group III and IV received placebo in place of albendazole. In addition, Group I and III received 1.2 mg of beta-carotene powder in capsule daily for six months, and Group II and IV received placebo in place of beta-carotene. Serum retinol and beta-carotene levels were measured before and after six months of the interventions. Serum retinol and beta-carotene increased significantly in Group I where both antihelminthic therapy and daily beta-carotene supplementation were given (p<0.05 and p<0.001 respectively). Antihelminthic therapy alone only improved serum beta-carotene concentration (p<0.0001). Low-dose beta-carotene supplementation, along with an antihelminthic therapy, synergistically improved vitamin A status. This finding has public-health implications for improving vitamin A status of children in developing countries.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Journal of Health Population and Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many children have diets deficient in both iron and zinc, but there has been some evidence of negative interactions when they are supplemented together. The optimal delivery approach would maximize clinical benefits of both nutrients. We studied the effectiveness of different iron and zinc supplement delivery approaches to improve diarrhea and anemia in a rural Bangladesh population.
Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled factorial community trial.
Iron supplementation alone increased diarrhea, but adding zinc, separately or together, attenuated these harmful effects. Combined zinc and iron was as effective as iron alone for iron outcomes. All supplements were vomited <1% of the time, but combined iron and zinc were vomited significantly more than any of the other supplements. Children receiving zinc and iron (together or separately) had fewer hospitalizations. Separating delivery of iron and zinc may have some additional benefit in stunted children.
Separate and combined administration of iron and zinc are equally effective for reducing diarrhea, hospitalizations and improving iron outcomes. There may be some benefit in separate administration in stunted children.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · European journal of clinical nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies showed better absorption of protein and catch-up growth with animal-based high protein (15% energy from protein) diets (AP) than plant-based diets. This study compared the intake and absorption of nutrients from a lentil-based high protein (15% energy from protein) diet (LenP), AP, and a low protein (7.5% energy from protein) diet (LP). A total of 31 moderately malnourished 24 to 59 month old children convalescing from shigellosis were randomised to these three diets: LenP (n=11), AP (n=9) and LP (n=11). After two weeks adaptation with the respective diets, a 72-hour metabolic balance study was performed. The children's baseline characteristics were comparable among the groups (one exception: children of LP group were less stunted). The costs of 1,000 kcal from LenP, AP and LP diets were 0.15, 0.75 and 0.11 US dollar, respectively. Average daily energy intake (115-119 kcal/kg/d), coefficients of carbohydrate (89-91%), fat (80-90%), and energy (87-89%) absorption were similar in all groups. Mean+/-SD coefficient of nitrogen absorption (%) and nitrogen balance (g/kg/day) were 81+/-6 and 0.35+/-0.21 in LenP, 82+/-5 and 0.36+/-0.08 in AP, and 73+/-4 and 0.13+/-0.06 in LP groups, respectively (for both the nitrogen absorption and balance comparisons: LenP vs. AP, p>0.05; LenP vs. LP, p<0.05; AP vs. LP, p<0.05). The results showed higher absorption of nitrogen and its balance from high protein diets whether derived from lentil or animal source, which may enhance tissue protein deposition. A lentil-based high protein diet, which is less expensive, may be useful for nutritional rehabilitation of moderately malnourished children.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the epidemiology of kala-azar and asymptomatic leishmanial infection measured by serologic and leishmanin skin test results in a Bangladeshi community. In a subset, we measured serum retinol, zinc and C-reactive protein (CRP). Kala-azar and seroconversion incidence were 15.6 and 63.1 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Proximity to a previous kala-azar case increased the likelihood of both kala-azar and asymptomatic infection. Bed net use protected against kala-azar (rate ratio = 0.35, P < 0.01), but not subclinical infection (rate ratio = 1.1, P = 0.82). Kala-azar patients were younger (P < 0.001) and reported lower red meat consumption (P < 0.01) than asymptomatic seropositive individuals. Retinol and zinc levels were lower in current kala-azar patients and those who later developed kala-azar compared with uninfected and asymptomatically infected subjects. The CRP levels were higher in kala-azar patients compared with the other two groups. Low red meat intake and poor zinc and retinol status may characterize a group at higher risk of symptomatic disease.
No preview · Article · May 2007 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of antioxidant Vitamins E and C as adjunct therapy of severe acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in children.
Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.
A large childrens' hospital serving the urban poor in Kolkata, India.
Children aged 2-35 months admitted with severe ALRI.
In total, 174 children were randomly assigned to receive alpha-tocopherol 200 mg and ascorbic acid 100 mg twice daily or placebo for 5 days. All children received standard treatment for severe ALRI. Outcome measures were: time taken to recover from a very ill status, fever, tachypnoea, and feeding difficulty; and improvement in oxidative stress and immune response indicated by thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS) and response to skin antigens, respectively.
Recovery rate ratios (95% CI) using proportional hazards model were 0.89 (0.64-1.25), 1.01 (0.72-1.41), 0.86 (0.57-1.29), and 1.12 (0.77-1.64) for very ill status, feeding difficulty, fever, and tachypnoea, respectively. TBARS values were high and similar in the two groups at admission, discharge, and at 2 weeks follow-up. Serum alpha-tocopherol significantly increased in treated group at discharge. Immune response to skin antigens were very poor at admission and after 2 weeks, in both groups.
Infants with severe ALRI failed to benefit from two antioxidant nutrients as adjunct therapy. Severe ALRI in infants may cause cell-mediated immune dysfunction. We need a better understanding of oxidative processes in growing infants to help us better design interventions with antioxidant therapy.
Preview · Article · Jun 2006 · European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of elevated levels of arsenic in drinking-water in many countries, including Bangladesh, has necessitated the development of reliable and rapid methods for the determination of a wide range of arsenic concentrations in water. A simple hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS) method for the determination of arsenic in the range of microg/L to mg/L concentrations in water is reported here. The method showed linearity over concentrations ranging from 1 to 30 microg/L, but requires dilution of samples with higher concentrations. The detection limit ranged from 0.3 to 0.5 microg/L. Evaluation of the method, using internal quality-control (QC) samples (pooled water samples) and spiked internal QC samples throughout the study, and Standard Reference Material in certain lots, showed good accuracy and precision. Analysis of duplicate water samples at another laboratory also showed good agreement. In total, 13,286 tubewell water samples from Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh, were analyzed. Thirty-seven percent of the water samples had concentrations below 50 microg/L, 29% below the WHO guideline value of 10 microg/L, and 17% below 1 microg/L. The HG-AAS was found to be a precise, sensitive, and reasonably fast and simple method for analysis of arsenic concentrations in water samples.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2006 · Journal of Health Population and Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pneumonia and diarrhoea cause much morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years. Most deaths occur during infancy and in developing countries. Daily regimens of zinc have been reported to prevent acute lower respiratory tract infection and diarrhoea, and to reduce child mortality. We aimed to examine whether giving zinc weekly could prevent clinical pneumonia and diarrhoea in children younger than 2 years.
1665 poor, urban children aged 60 days to 12 months were randomly assigned zinc (70 mg) or placebo orally once weekly for 12 months. Children were assessed every week by field research assistants. Our primary outcomes were the rate of pneumonia and diarrhoea. The rates of other respiratory tract infections were the secondary outcomes. Growth, final serum copper, and final haemoglobin were also measured. Analysis was by intention to treat.
34 children were excluded before random assignment to treatment group because they had tuberculosis. 809 children were assigned zinc, and 812 placebo. After treatment assignment, 103 children in the treatment group and 44 in the control group withdrew. There were significantly fewer incidents of pneumonia in the zinc group than the control group (199 vs 286; relative risk 0.83, 95% CI 0.73-0.95), and a small but significant effect on incidence of diarrhoea (1881 cases vs 2407; 0.94, 0.88-0.99). There were two deaths in the zinc group and 14 in the placebo group (p=0.013). There were no pneumonia-related deaths in the zinc group, but ten in the placebo group (p=0.013). The zinc group had a small gain in height, but not weight at 10 months compared with the placebo group. Serum copper and haemoglobin concentrations were not adversely affected after 10 months of zinc supplementation.
70 mg of zinc weekly reduces pneumonia and mortality in young children. However, compliance with weekly intake might be problematic outside a research programme.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of elevated levels of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater of Bangladesh, has severely impaired the decade long effort of providing safe water to nearly 98% of its population and putting an estimated 35 million people-nearly one fourth of the total population -at risk. In order to address this problem, a project titled "Arsenic in tubewell (TW) water and health consequences in Matlab Upazila of Chandpur district (AsMat)" is being implemented jointly by ICDDR,B and BRAC. During this study. all the TWs in Matlab have been assigned unique identification numbers, with marked GPS coordinates, depth, and age. It is estimated that nearly 65% of the about 13,000 TWs in Matlab have As concentrations above the Bangladesh drinking water standard (50 μg/L). In order to minimize arsenic exposure, a work to provide various alternate safe drinking water options to the exposed population has been initiated. As of March 2004, about 1047 different alternate safe water options, such as Pond Sand Filter (PSF), Rainwater Harvester (RWH) and different filters to remove arsenic as well as pathogenic bacteria, were distributed among the targeted exposed population in Matlab. To ensure sustainable use, the provided options were assessed based on community acceptability, technical viability, and financial viability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in young children. Early reversal of severity signs--chest indrawing, hypoxia, and tachypnoea--improves outcome. We postulated that zinc, an acute phase reactant, would shorten duration of severe pneumonia and time in hospital.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial in Matlab Hospital, Bangladesh, 270 children aged 2-23 months were randomised to receive elemental zinc (20 mg per day) or placebo, plus the hospital's standard antimicrobial management, until discharge. The outcomes were time to cessation of severe pneumonia (no chest indrawing, respiratory rate 50 per min or less, oxygen saturation at least 95% on room air) and discharge from hospital. Discharge was allowed when respiratory rate was 40 per minute or less for 24 consecutive hours while patients were maintained only on oral antibiotics.
The group receiving zinc had reduced duration of severe pneumonia (relative hazard [RH]=0.70, 95% CI 0.51-0.98), including duration of chest indrawing (0.80, 0.61-1.05), respiratory rate more than 50 per min (0.74, 0.57-0.98), and hypoxia (0.79, 0.61-1.04), and overall hospital duration (0.75, 0.57-0.99). The mean reduction is equivalent to 1 hospital day for both severe pneumonia and time in hospital. All effects were greater when children with wheezing were omitted from the analysis.
Adjuvant treatment with 20 mg zinc per day accelerates recovery from severe pneumonia in children, and could help reduce antimicrobial resistance by decreasing multiple antibiotic exposures, and lessen complications and deaths where second line drugs are unavailable.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence for an effect of zinc supplementation on growth and morbidity in very young infants in developing countries is scarce and inconsistent.
We assessed the effect of zinc supplementation on growth and morbidity in poor Bangladeshi infants aged 4-24 wk.
Infants from Dhaka slums were enrolled at 4 wk of age and randomly assigned to receive 5 mg elemental Zn/d (n = 152) or placebo (n = 149) until 24 wk of age. They were followed weekly for information on compliance and morbidity; anthropometric measurements were performed monthly. Serum zinc was assessed at baseline and at 24 wk of age.
At 24 wk of age, serum zinc concentrations were higher in the zinc than in the placebo group (13.3 +/- 3.8 and 10.7 +/- 2.9 micro mol/L, respectively; P < 0.001). Significantly greater weight gains were observed in the zinc than in the placebo group for 43 infants who were zinc deficient (< 9.18 micro mol/L) at baseline (3.15 +/- 0.77 and 2.66 +/- 0.80 kg, respectively; P < 0.04). In the other infants, no significant differences were observed in mean weight and length gains during the study period. Zinc-deficient infants showed a reduced risk of incidence of acute lower respiratory infection after zinc supplementation (relative risk: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.92); among the non-zinc-deficient infants there were no significant differences between treatment groups.
Zinc-deficient Bangladeshi infants showed improvements in growth rate and a reduced incidence of acute lower respiratory infection after zinc supplementation. In infants with serum zinc concentrations > 9.18 micro mol/L, supplementation improved only biochemical zinc status.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2003 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Evidence for an effect of zinc supplementation on growth and morbidity in very young infants in developing countries is scarce and inconsistent. Objective: We assessed the effect of zinc supplementation on growth and morbidity in poor Bangladeshi infants aged 4-24 wk. Design: Infants from Dhaka slums were enrolled at 4 wk of age and randomly assigned to receive 5 mg elemental Zn/d (n = 152) or placebo (n = 149) until 24 wk of age. They were followed weekly for information on compliance and morbidity; anthropometric measurements were performed monthly. Serum zinc was assessed at baseline and at 24 wk of age. Results: At 24 wk of age, serum zinc concentrations were higher in the zinc than in the placebo group (13.3 +/- 3.8 and 10.7 +/- 2.9 mumol/L, respectively; P < 0.001). Significantly greater weight gains were observed in the zinc than in the placebo group for 43 infants who were zinc deficient (< 9.18 mumol/L) at baseline (3.15 +/- 0.77 and 2.66 +/- 0.80 kg, respectively; P < 0.04). In the other infants, no significant differences were observed in mean weight and length gains during the study period. Zinc-deficient infants showed a reduced risk of incidence of acute lower respiratory infection after zinc supplementation (relative risk: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.92); among the non-zinc-deficient infants there were no significant differences between treatment groups. Conclusions: Zinc-deficient Bangladeshi infants showed improvements in growth rate and a reduced incidence of acute lower respiratory infection after zinc supplementation. In infants with serum zinc concentrations > 9.18 mumol/L, supplementation improved only biochemical zinc status.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2002 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deaths following childhood diarrhoea, a major health problem in developing countries, are often associated with malnutrition and septicaemic complications. Folic acid has been used in the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhoea in the tropics. Using a rat model, we evaluated the protective effect of large doses of folic acid on diarrhoea, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and translocation of enteric bacteria into mesenteric lymph nodes induced by a raw red kidney bean-based diet containing lectin (phytohemagglutinin). Long-Evans rats in 2 groups of 5 each (60 g to 70 g in weight, 28 d old) were used. All 10 rats, individually kept in metabolic cages, received a raw red kidney bean-based diet for 10 d, and 5 of them also received a daily folic acid supplement (160 microg/g feed) both during and for 10 d before the experiment. The faecal weight was measured and a quantitative aerobic bacterial culture of the small intestinal mucosal scrapings and of the mesenteric lymph nodes was made. Folic acid supplementation did not reduce faecal output nor did it prevent loss of body weight associated with lectin-induced diarrhoea. However, the mean total count of enteric bacteria translocated to the mesenteric lymph nodes was significantly reduced in the supplemented rats (1.27 +/- 0.61 vs 2.66 +/- 0.84, p = 0.028) and a trend towards reduced bacterial count in the small intestinal mucosal scrapings (0.40 +/- 0.89 vs 1.42 +/- 1.31, p = 0.16) was documented. A significant positive correlation was also seen between the bacterial count in the jejunal mucosal scrapings and in the mesenteric lymph nodes. Conclusion: Although large-dose folic acid supplementation did not prevent diarrhoea and malnutrition induced by a lectin-based diet, it substantially reduced the count of enteric bacteria translocated into the mesenteric lymph nodes and showed a trend towards a reduction in indigenous bacteria adhering to jejunal mucosa. These findings could be of relevance in the prevention of septicaemic complications following many clinical conditions, including diarrhoea with malnutrition in children known to have bacteraemic and septicaemic complications.
No preview · Article · Feb 2002 · Acta Paediatrica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vitamin A supplementation of lactating mothers and of infants at the time of diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) and oral polio vaccine (OPV) immunizations have both been suggested as measures to prevent deficiency among infants. This multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in Ghana, India and Peru to determine the effect of maternal vitamin A supplementation on breast milk retinol and of maternal and infant supplementation on infant vitamin A status. Mothers in the intervention group received 60 mg vitamin A (as retinol palmitate) at 18-42 d postpartum; their infants were given 7.5 mg three times, i.e., at 6, 10 and 14 wk of age with DPT and OPV immunizations. Mothers and infants in the comparison group received a placebo. Maternal supplementation resulted in higher breast milk retinol at 2 mo postpartum [difference in means 7.1, 95% confidence interval (CI), 3.4, 10.8 nmol/g fat] and lower proportion of mothers with breast milk retinol < or = 28 nmol/g fat (15.2 vs. 26.6%, 95% CI of difference -16.6, -4.1%). At 6 and 9 mo, maternal supplementation did not affect breast milk retinol or the proportion of mothers with low breast milk retinol. Vitamin A supplementation of the mothers and their infants reduced the proportion of infants with serum retinol 0.06 (44.2 vs. 52.9%, 95% CI of difference -16.6, -0.9%) at 6 mo. Supplementation had no effect at 9 mo. The beneficial effect of supplementation on breast milk retinol and infants' vitamin A status varied by site. It was greatest in India followed by Ghana and Peru. At the doses used, maternal supplementation improved breast milk retinol status at 2 mo (P < 0.001) and maternal and infant supplementation modestly increased (P = 0.03) infant vitamin A status at 6 mo of age. Additional strategies to improve vitamin A status of 6- to 9-mo-old infants must be considered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of simultaneous zinc and vitamin A supplementation on diarrhoea and acute lower respiratory infections in children.
Randomised double blind placebo controlled trial.
Urban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
800 children aged 12-35 months were randomly assigned to one of four intervention groups: 20 mg zinc once daily for 14 days; 200 000 IU vitamin A, single dose on day 14; both zinc and vitamin A; placebo. The children were followed up once a week for six months, and morbidity information was collected.
The incidence and prevalence of diarrhoea were lower in the zinc and vitamin A groups than in the placebo group. Zinc and vitamin A interaction had a rate ratio (95% confidence interval) of 0.79 (0.66 to 0.94) for the prevalence of persistent diarrhoea and 0.80 (0.67 to 0.95) for dysentery. Incidence (1.62; 1.16 to 2.25) and prevalence (2.07; 1.76 to 2.44) of acute lower respiratory infection were significantly higher in the zinc group than in the placebo group. The interaction term had rate ratios of 0.75 (0.46 to 1.20) for incidence and 0.58 (0.46 to 0.73) for prevalence of acute lower respiratory infection.
Combined zinc and vitamin A synergistically reduced the prevalence of persistent diarrhoea and dysentery. Zinc was associated with a significant increase in acute lower respiratory infection, but this adverse effect was reduced by the interaction between zinc and vitamin A.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2001 · BMJ Clinical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, moderately malnourished Bangladeshi children (61–75% of the median weight/age) were studied for the effect of zinc and/or vitamin A supplementation on the clinical outcome of persistent diarrhea. Children 6 mo to 2 y of age with diarrhea for more than 14 d were randomly allocated into 4 groups of 24 receiving a multivitamin syrup and (i) zinc (20 mg elemental), (ii) vitamin A, (iii) both zinc and vitamin A, or (iv) neither, in 2 doses daily for 7 d. Clinical data on recovery and on stool output, consistency and frequency were recorded for 7 d, and weight change from day 1 to day 7 was assessed. The baseline characteristics of the four study groups were comparable. The mean daily stool outputs from days 2 to 7 of therapy were significantly less in the zinc and zinc plus vitamin A groups, but not in the vitamin A group, in comparison with the control group. In children receiving zinc, the cumulative stool weight in the 7 d was 39% less than in the control group (p < 0.001) and 32% less than in the vitamin A group (p= 0.006). The cumulative stool weight in the zinc plus vitamin A group was 24% less than in the control group (p <0.001), but the 14% lower output than in the vitamin A group was not statistically different The change in body weight over the 7d study period was significantly different between the group receiving zinc and the control group (+111 g vs –90 g, p = 0.045). The rate of clinical recovery of children within 7 d was significantly greater in the zinc group (88%) compared with the control group (46%, p= 0.002) or vitamin A group (50%, p= 0 005), but not statistically different from the zinc plus vitamin A group (67%, p= 0.086).
Conclusion: The results indicate that zinc, but not vitamin A, supplementation in persistent diarrhea reduces stool output, prevents weight loss and promotes earlier recovery.
No preview · Article · May 2001 · Acta Paediatrica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal zinc supplementation has been suggested as a potential intervention to reduce the incidence of low birth weight in developing countries. To date, placebo-controlled trials have all been performed in industrialized countries and the results are inconsistent.
The objective of this study was to evaluate whether zinc supplementation in Bangladeshi urban poor during the last 2 trimesters of pregnancy was associated with pregnancy outcome.
We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 559 women from Dhaka slums, stratified by parity between 12 and 16 wk of gestation, were randomly assigned to receive 30 mg elemental Zn/d (n = 269) or placebo (n = 290). Supplementation continued until delivery. Serum zinc was estimated at baseline and at 7 mo of gestation. Dietary intake was assessed at baseline and anthropometric measurements were made monthly. Weight, length, and gestational ages of 410 singleton newborns were measured within 72 h of birth.
At 7 mo of gestation, serum zinc concentrations tended to be higher in the zinc-supplemented group than in the placebo group (15.9 +/- 4.4 compared with 15.2 +/- 4.3 micromol/L). No significant effect of treatment was observed on infant birth weight (2513 +/- 390 compared with 2554 +/- 393 g; NS) or on gestational age, infant length, or head, chest, or midupper arm circumference. The incidence and distribution of low birth weight, prematurity, and smallness for gestational age also did not differ significantly after zinc supplementation.
Supplementation with 30 mg elemental Zn during the last 2 trimesters of pregnancy did not improve birth outcome in Bangladeshi urban poor. These results indicate that interventions with zinc supplementation alone are unlikely to reduce the incidence of low birth weight in Bangladesh.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2000 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of simultaneous vitamin A supplementation and diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccination on the antibody levels. Infants aged 6-17 wk (n = 56) were randomly given 15 mg oral vitamin A or placebo at the time of their DPT immunization. Three such doses were given at monthly intervals. Immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies to diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus were assayed on enrollment and 1 mo after the third dose. Baseline antibody concentrations to diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus did not differ between the vitamin A-supplemented and placebo-treated groups. The postdose antibody to diphtheria level was significantly greater in the vitamin A than in the placebo-treated group. The geometric mean +/- SEM antibody levels (mg/L) were 22.9 +/- 1.2 and 11.0 +/- 1.3 in the vitamin A and placebo groups, respectively (P = 0.029). The postsupplementation concentrations of antibodies to pertussis and tetanus did not differ between the two groups. These results suggest that antibody response to diphtheria vaccination was potentiated by simultaneous vitamin A administration and DPT immunization.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2000 · Journal of Nutrition