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.