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Evidence-Based Resource Summary

Strength of Evidence: 
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Year Published: 

Zinc Supplements for Preventing Otitis Media

Description of Resource: 
Middle ear infections (otitis media) are common, especially among young children. Zinc is an essential micronutrient, which has a role in the optimal functioning of the immune system and resistance to infection. It must be consumed regularly as it cannot be stored in the body. This systematic review sought to assess the evidence on the role of zinc supplements in preventing middle ear infections. Ten studies were identified. This review found no convincing evidence that zinc supplements reduce the occurrence of middle ear infections in healthy children. However, in 1 small study of severely malnourished children, those receiving zinc supplements had fewer middle ear infections. The only adverse effect was vomiting.

Evidence-Based Resource Details

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Developed By: 
Cochrane Review
Developer Type: 
Non-Federal Government
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s): 
Hearing and Other Sensory or Communication Disorders
Healthy People 2020 Objectives: 
Resource Type: 
Systematic Review
Gulani A, Sachdev HS. Zinc supplements for preventing otitis media. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2017 Dec 29];(6). Art. No.: CD006639. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006639.pub4. Available from: