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Low dose zinc supplementation possibly useful.

Low Dose Zinc Supplementation Possibly Useful

Though the data are as yet inconclusive, zinc deficiency appears to be involved in several geriatric disorders, and supplementation may be remedial, according to Craig J. McClain, M.D. director, division of digestive diseases and nutrition, University of Kentucky.

Said Dr. McClain, clinical evidence is best for possible involvement of zinc in eye disorders such as impaired night vision and retinal and macular degeneration; impaired immune function; and impaired wound healing. Supplementation has been shown to improve impaired night vision and wound healing, with mixed results for impaired immune function. Zinc deficiency may also cause and be aggravated by diarrhea, Dr. McClain noted; in these cases supplementation can resolve the diarrhea.

Important skin changes signaling a deficiency include a rash around the eyes, nose, and mouth and, occasionally, on the buttocks. For the elderly who may be zinc-deficient, low-dose supplementation (10 to 20 mg. daily) is "probably reasonable," said Dr. McClain. (Geriatrics May 1989 Vol. 44 No. 5.)
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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