The nutritional need of various micronutrients is realised within the last decade with the advent of newer better diagnostic techniques. Lower intake of animal foods which are the prime source of zinc, lower quality of nutrients intake, higher faecal loss of Zn during diarrhea and inhibition of absorption of Zn by phytates present in the vegetables are some of the causes resulting in zinc deficiency in children of developing countries. Its importance in the management of persistent diarrhoea is gaining momentum with satisfactory results are being reported worldwide particularly when associated with severe acute malnutrition. Further the potential role and consensus guidelines for routine use of Zn in the prevention of infective diseases like acute respiratory tract infections, malaria, tuberculosis and particularly in intrauterine growth retardation babies is to be proven in time to come. Better dietary habits, food fortification and increased awareness and health education can prevent the Zn deficiency to a large extent.
Diarrhoea; Micronutrients; Pneumonia; Zinc (Zn)