Estimation of serum zinc and copper in children with acute diarrhea

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2006 Winter;114(1-3):121-6. doi: 10.1385/BTER:114:1:121.

Abstract

Diarrhea is, in reality, as much a nutritional disease as one of fluid and electrolyte loss. Children who die from diarrhea, despite good management of dehydration, are usually malnourished and often severely so. In this study, we determined the serum levels of zinc and copper before and after standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) therapy in children with acute diarrhea and correlated it with diarrheal duration and severity. One hundred ten children suffering from acute diarrhea were included. Serum zinc and copper levels of these children were estimated at the time of enrollment and after treatment with standard ORS therapy. This study shows that children suffering from acute diarrhea show a statistically significant decrease of 13.1% and 12.8% in serum zinc and copper concentrations, respectively, compared to normal. These levels further decrease by 22.6% and 22.4%, respectively, after treatment with standard ORS therapy. Our study shows that children with the lower plasma zinc and copper levels suffered with more severe and longer duration of diarrhea. Zinc and copper supplementation could be added to standard ORS therapy for the reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with acute diarrhea in children.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child
  • Copper / blood*
  • Diarrhea / blood*
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Zinc / blood*

Substances

  • Copper
  • Zinc