Indian Pediatrics

, Volume 47, Issue 10, pp 845–849

Effect of oral zinc supplementation on the growth of preterm infants

  • M. N. Islam
  • Maka Chowdhury
  • M. Siddika
  • S. B. Qurishi
  • M. K. J. Bhuiyan
  • M. M. Hoque
  • S. Akhter
Research Paper



To compare the effect of oral zinc supplementation on growth of preterm infants.


Randomized controlled trial.


Dhaka Shisu Hospital (Tertiary care hospital).


100 appropriate for date preterm infants weighing between 1000 to 2500g were randomized to receive zinc and multivitamin supplement (Group I; n=50) or only multivitamin supplement (Group II).


Zinc supplementation was given 2mg/kg/day for 6 weeks along with multivitamin in Group I and only multivitamin to Group II.

Primary outcome variable

Increment of weight and length.


At enrollment, serum zinc (62.1±12.4μg/dL in Group I and 63.1±14.6μg/dL in Group II) and hemoglobin levels (14.9±2.4g/dL in Group I and 14.4±1.7g/dL in Group II) were almost similar in both groups. Serum zinc levels were in lower limit of normal range. After supplementation, serum zinc and hemoglobin levels were significantly higher in Group I (105±16.5μg/dL) than Group II (82.2±17.4μg/dL) (P<0.05). Weight, length and head circumference were comparable in both groups at enrollment. Significant differences in weight gain and increment in length were found in first and second follow up between two groups but OFC increments were not significant (P>0.05). Reduction of morbidity was apparent in zinc supplemented group. No serious adverse effect was noted related to supplementation therapy.


Zinc supplementation for preterm low birth weight babies is found effective to enhance the growth in early months of life.

Key words

Infants Preterm Supplementation Zinc 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sur D, Gupta DN, Mondal SK, Ghosh S, Manna B, Rajendran K, et al. Impact of zinc supplementation on diarrhoeal morbidity and growth pattern of low birth weight infants in Kolkata, India: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, community-based study. Pediatrics 2003; 112: 1327–1332.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gupta AP, Bhandari B, Gupta A. Serum copper, zinc, magnesium and calcium in neonates. Indian Pediatr 1984; 21: 569–573.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jeswani RM, Vani SN. A study of serum zinc levels in cord blood of neonates and their mothers. Indian J Pediatr 1991; 58: 683–686.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hambidge KM, Krebs NF. Zinc in the fetus and neonate. In: Polin R, Fox W, Abman SH, editors. Fetal and Neonatal Physiology. 3rd edn. Philadephia: Elsevier Science; 2004. p. 324–346.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Black M. Zinc deficiency and childhood development. Am J Clin Nutr 1998; 68: 4–9.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Penny ME, Marin RM, Duran A, Peerson JM, Lanata CF, Lonnerdal D, et al. Randomized controlled trial of the effect of daily supplementation with zinc or multiple micronutrients on the morbidity, growth and micronutrient status of young Peruvian children. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79: 457–465.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Osendarp SJM, Van Raaij JMA, Arifeen SE, Wahed MA, Baqui AH, Fuchs GJ. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of zinc supplementation during pregnancy and pregnancy out come in Bangladeshi urban poor. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71: 114–119.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Osendarp SJM, Santosham M, Black RE, Wahed MA, Van Raaij JMA Fuchs GJ. Effect of zinc supplementation between 1 and 6 mo of life on growth and morbidity of Bangladeshi infants in urban slums. Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 76: 114–119.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    UNICEF. The State of the World’s Children 2005. New York: UNICEF 2005. p. 110–134.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Altigani M, Murphy JF, Gray OP. Plasma zinc concentration and catch up growth in preterm infants. Acta Paediatr Scand 1989; 357: 20–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Itabashi K, Saito T, Ogawa Y, Uteni Y. Incidence and predicting factors of hypozincemia in very low birth weight infants at near term postmenstrual age. Biol Neonate 2003; 83: 235–240.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bagum NA. Comparison of zinc levels in blood, urine of preterm and term baby and their relationship with zinc levels in maternal blood and breast milk. Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics BSMMU, Dhaka; 2004. p. 37–40.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Roberts IAG, Murray NA. Hematology. In: Textbook of Neonatology. 4th edn. Rennie JM. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2005. p.739–772.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lind T, Lonnerdal B, Stenlund H, Gamaynti IL, Ismail D, Seswandhana R, et al. A community based randomized controlled trial of iron and zinc supplementation in Indonesian infants; interactions between iron and zinc. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 77: 883–890.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Friel JK, Andrews WL, Matthew JD, Long DR, Cornel AM, Cox M, et al. Zinc supplementation in very low birth weight infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1993; 17: 97–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Díaz-Gómez NM, Domenech E, Barroso F, Castells S, Cortabarria C, Jimenez A. The effect of zinc supplementation on linear growth, body composition and growth factors in preterm infants. Pediatrics 2003; 111: 1002–1009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Castillo-Duran C, Rodriguez A, Venegas GV, Alvarez P, Icaza P. Zinc supplementation and growth of infants born small for gestational age. J Pediatr 1995; 127: 206–211.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lira PI, Ashworth A, Morris, SS. Effect of zinc supplementation on the morbidity, immune function and growth of low birth weight, full term infants in northeast Brazil. Am J Clin Nutr 1998; 68: 418–423.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Pediatrics 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. N. Islam
    • 1
    • 6
  • Maka Chowdhury
    • 2
  • M. Siddika
    • 3
  • S. B. Qurishi
    • 4
  • M. K. J. Bhuiyan
    • 5
  • M. M. Hoque
    • 2
  • S. Akhter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsMymensingh Medical College HospitalMymensinghBangladesh
  2. 2.Division of Neonatology, Bangladesh Institute of Child HealthDhaka Shishu HospitalDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of Gynaecology and ObstetricsCBMCBMymensinghBangladesh
  4. 4.Chemistry DivisionAtomic Energy CenterRamna, DhakaBangladesh
  5. 5.Department of Agricultural StatisticsBangladesh Agricultural UniversityMymensinghBangladesh
  6. 6.Department of PaediatricsMymensingh Medical CollegeMymensinghBangladesh

Personalised recommendations