The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Review: Zinc to prevent respiratory tract infections

    Zinc supplementation is a potential option to prevent acute lower respiratory infection, especially in developing countries.

    Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland make sense of the discrepant research findings.

    First, the details.

    • 10 studies of zinc supplementation in 49,450 children in developing countries were identified.
    • Studies in the meta-analysis included participants less than 5 years of age, taking daily/weekly zinc vs a control supplementation for greater than 3 months.
    • Acute lower respiratory infections were classified on the basis of specificity/severity.

    And, the results.

    • Routine zinc supplementation (at least 70 mg cumulative dose per week, for 43 months) reduced the risk of childhood acute lower respiratory infection by about one-third.
    • Investigators’ definitions of acute lower respiratory infection may have influenced the results regarding the value of preventive treatment.
    • There were no associations with the average age of participants, geographic location, participants’ nutritional status (prevalence of stunting or zinc blood levels), or zinc dose.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Routine zinc supplementation reduced the incidence of childhood acute lower respiratory infection defined by relatively specific clinical criteria.”

    10/5/11 22:20 JR

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