One in two babies suffers from zinc deficiency: Study

Zinc

After birth, 36 per cent of low birth weight and 18.2 per cent of normal infants in the study group were given multi-vitamin supplements for zinc.

Doctors said low birth weight infants were likely to suffer from zinc deficiency because many of them were premature born. "Most of the zinc is accumulated during the final trimester of pregnancy. Pre-term babies have limited capacity to absorb and retain micronutrients," a doctor said.

The doctors said the role of supplementation should be explored to control deficiencies.

ALL THAT ZINC

A crucial micronutrient, zinc helps in protein synthesis, several metabolic reactions and develop the immune response system

Deficiency can lead to stunted growth, poor immunity, and age-related degeneration

WHO data from 2009 says zinc deficiency accounts for four per cent of deaths of children under five years of age globally

South and Central Asia has the largest deficiency

Dearth of data on zinc deficiency among children in India and other developing countries, particularly for low birth weight infants

Sources

All high-protein food such as beans, lentils, meat products, almonds, cashew nuts

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