Effects of zinc with and without iron co-supplementation on child development are uncertain therefore the aims of this systematic review were to explore whether supplementation with zinc alone and zinc with iron in children aged 0-5 years old have beneficial or adverse effects on their mental and motor development.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, Web of Science and Scopus until July 2020 and included randomized controlled trials, which assessed effects of zinc supplementation with and without iron in children less than 5 years old on mental and motor development. Data were pooled by random effects model and the Standardized Mean Differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence interval were estimated. The heterogeneity was assessed by I2.
Twenty-five studies with 11,559 participants were eligible to be included in this systematic review. Meta-analysis was conducted with eight articles that used Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development II. We concluded that zinc alone and zinc with iron co-supplementation do not have beneficial or adverse effect on child mental and motor development at 6 and 12 months of age with low to moderate quality of the evidence. Furthermore, Zinc supplementation does not have any long term effect on child development in preschool and school age children.
Most included studies did not show the efficacy of zinc with and without iron co-supplementation on child mental and motor development up to 9 years old age. Further Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) need to be taken into considerations the context-based differences between countries with special focus on socio-economic differences. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
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