The Role of Zinc in Childhood Infectious Disease
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There has been a growing appreciation of the role of zinc in human biology. This is especially true in populations where malnutrition and deficiency of zinc is prevalent. Zinc is an essential component of enzymes, proteins and bio membranes and plays a fundamental role in cellular metabolism and immunity. In low-income settings, due to a lower dietary intake of zinc rich animal source foods in which zinc is more bioavailable and a higher consumption of cereals and legumes, which contain inhibitors of zinc absorption combined with a poor diet in general, 30–50% of children have low plasma zinc levels .
Levels of plasma zinc are inadequate markers of zinc deficiency and cutoff values are imperfect at best. Evidence of the role of zinc in childhood infectious disease comes from large intervention trials in diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.
In this issue, Agarwal et al.  report the results of their study where serum zinc levels were measured in children presenting with acute diarrhea...
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