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Zinc supplementation sustained normative neurodevelopment in a randomized, controlled trial of Peruvian infants aged 6-18 months.

Author(s): Colombo J(1), Zavaleta N(2), Kannass KN(3), Lazarte F(2), Albornoz C(2), Kapa LL(4), Caulfield LE(5).

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS colombo@ku.edu. (2)Nutritional Research Institute, Lima, Peru. (3)Department of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. (4)Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and. (5)Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Publication date & source: 2014, J Nutr. , 144(8):1298-305

A double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted to determine the effects of prevention of zinc deficiency on cognitive and sensorimotor development during infancy. At 6 mo of age, infants were randomly assigned to be administered a daily liquid supplement containing 10 mg/d of zinc (zinc sulfate), 10 mg/d of iron (ferrous sulfate), and 0.5 mg/d of copper (copper oxide), or an identical daily liquid supplement containing only 10 mg/d of iron and 0.5 mg/d of copper. Various controls were implemented to ensure adherence to the supplement protocol. A battery of developmental assessments was administered from 6 to 18 mo of age that included a visual habituation/recognition memory task augmented with heart rate at 6, 9, and 12 mo of age; the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd edition (BSID2) at 6, 12, and 18 mo; the A-not-B error task at 9 and 12 mo; and free-play attention tasks at 12 and 18 mo. Only infants supplemented with zinc had the normative decline in look duration from 6 to 12 mo during habituation and a normative decline in shifting between objects on free-play multiple-object attention tasks from 12 to 18 mo of age. The 2 groups did not differ on any of the psychophysiologic indices, the BSID2, or the A-not-B error task. The findings are consistent with zinc supplementation supporting a profile of normative information processing and active attentional profiles during the first 2 y of life. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00589264.

Page last updated: 2014-11-30

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