The Zinc Effect

 

Leolyte contains zinc, which has been medically proven to treat diahhrea.

  • Studies have shown that zinc treatment results in 25% reduction in duration of acute diarrhea and a 40% reduction in treatment failure in persistent diarrhea.
  • Zinc improves the absorption of water and electrolytes, improves regeneration of the intestinal epithelium.
  • Zinc increases the levels of brush border enzymes, enhancing the immune response and allowing for a better clearance of the pathogens.

WHO and UNICEF, in collaboration with USAID recommends a daily dose of zinc salt during acute diarrhea.

Acute diarrhea is an ever-present health concern for children around the world. The issue is especially prevalent in children living in developing countries without access to proper nutrition and medical care. Healthcare organizations and children’s advocates are hard at work determining how to best solve the problem – the answer may be simpler than you think.

Research is being done to prove how zinc can be used as an effective treatment to lessen the effects of diarrhea. Unfortunately, there is currently not enough information to implement a widespread program of treatment. With more studies, however, zinc could be proven to be a valuable part of an intervention plan.

What Does it Do?

The way in which zinc can be used as a treatment option is still being determined. Zinc can be useful in that it helps the body absorb water and electrolytes. It also works to regenerate intestinal epithelium. The intestinal epithelium is the lining of the intestines, made up of cell tissue. If the intestinal epithelium is injured, the body can lose larger amounts of water and electrolytes. Zinc will work to fend off toxin-induced cholera and prevent the risk of diarrhea becoming a more serious health issue.

How Does it Work?

The purpose of a zinc supplement for those experiencing acute diarrhea is to reduce the frequency, amount, and duration of stool. Preliminary research is showing that it can do just that. Studies are showing that zinc can reduce stool frequency by 62%. It can also reduce the duration of acute diarrhea by 20%. In the studies, the positive effects of zinc increased throughout the treatment period. This means that, if zinc were implemented as a treatment plan for children suffering from acute diarrhea, it could potentially be useful as a long-term solution.

How is it Administered?

Most drinks, like water, sports drinks, and juices, do not contain zinc. It must be taken in a different way. There are three forms of zinc that can be used: sulfate, acetate, and gluconate. Zinc sulfate is the clear choice, as it is low in cost and works well. There are also several ways that it can be administered. Tablets can be given in breast milk, making it a great option for even the youngest patients. The tablets can also be used in oral rehydration solutions or simply swallowed on their own with water.

Is it a Feasible Plan?

When determining the best treatment plans for issues affecting those in developing nations, cost is an obvious concern. A treatment may be effective, but if the costs are too high, it cannot be considered a feasible plan for long-term use.

In a study done to analyze the costs of using zinc as a treatment option, it was found that using oral rehydration salt wasn’t as cost effective as others had previously thought. However, adding zinc as an intervention to existing diarrhea treatment plans made those plans more cost effective.

As research continues, zinc can be further proven as an effective treatment to offer relief in a simple and inexpensive form to children in developing countries.

ATTENTION: Help prevent the flu and a troubled tummy by cleaning toys and door handles.