A double-blind, placebo-controlled study appearing in the Lancet (2005; 366(9500): 1862-7) looked at the effect zinc supplementation had on diarrhea in South African, HIV infected children. The 96 subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 10 mg of zinc (as zinc sulfate) per day or a placebo for six months. Plasma viral load, CD4+ T lymphocytes and hemoglobin concentration were tested at three months, six months and nine months. There was no significant difference in those values between the placebo group and the supplemented group. During the course of the study two children died in the supplemented group and seven died in the placebo group. Diarrhea was diagnosed in 7.4% of the clinic visits in the supplemented group compared to 14.5% of the visits in the placebo group. The authors recommended zinc supplementation as an adjunct to help control diarrhea.
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