The research is the first in its sphere to examine the effect of zinc supplements given in addition to the antibiotic program for curing infections in infants. According to the researchers, the combination decreases the risk of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis to a great extent.
Three-year medical research involved an observation of over 600 children aged between seven and 120 days. These children were given a dosage of 10mg of zinc supplement along with antibiotics for infections on a daily basis.
Reduction by substantial margin of 40 per cent was observed in the babies, who didn't receive the zinc doses, but placebo. The conclusion was made after 352 children provided with 10mg of zinc supplements with standard antibiotics were compared with the other group of 348 children that was given placebo daily for preventing early-age infections. There were 34 treatment failures in the infants, who received zinc supplement along with antibiotics, though the failure was considerably less than the failures in infants given placebo.
The medical research spanned three years i.e. between July 2005 and December 2008. The research was conducted at three hospitals of Delhi namely, Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The detailed medical report was published in The Lancet.
Prof. Shinjini Bhatnagar from the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute in Haryana headed the study. He described the findings as being significant, stating that zinc supplements are a low-cost intervention that could bring down infant mortality rate, especially in developing nations where thousands of children die from infections every year.