A randomised, controlled trial involving 270 children aged between 6 and 12 months, hospitalised with pneumonia, found that those given 20 mg/day of zinc (as acetate) showed significant reductions in recovery time from severe pneumonia. Overall hospital stay duration was also reduced when used with standard antimicrobial therapy (Brooks et al 2004). Furthermore, a randomised, placebo-controlled trial in which 1665 children aged less than 12 months were given 70 mg of zinc prophylactically found a reduced incidence of pneumonia (17%), with severe pneumonia incidence reducing by 49%. It also reduced URTI by 8% and reactive airways disease (bronchiolitis) by 12% (Brooks et al 2005).


Patients with diagnosed Wilson's disease have increased hepatic glutathione and reduced oxidation when supplemented with zinc sulfate (220 mg three times daily) for 3 months, compared with those using penicillamine (Farinati et al 2003).


Cognitive performance was temporarily improved after 3 months of zinc supplementation (zinc chelate 1 5 mg) taken twice daily by six subjects with Alzheimer's disease (Potocnik et al 1997). Although the initial improvement was not maintained in this small open study, a modest cognitive improvement on psychometric testing was observed at 12 months for the four patients evaluated.

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