Zinc, multivitamins do not attenuate systemic inflammation, EED in babies
Zinc or multivitamin supplements do not appear to suppress systemic inflammation nor reduce markers of environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) in infants, a recent Tanzania study has found.
A total of 590 infants were randomly assigned to receive zinc only (n=156; mean age, 5.9±0.32 weeks; 46.8 percent male), multivitamins only (n=142; mean age, 5.9±0.32 weeks; 47.2 percent male), both zinc and multivitamins (n=143; mean age, 5.9±0.36 weeks; 49.0 percent male), or placebo (n=149; mean age, 5.9±0.29 weeks; 55.7 percent male). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure markers of EED, systemic inflammation and growth.
At any time point, researchers observed largely no significant differences in EED, growth and systemic inflammation marker levels between infants who were vs were not given zinc supplements. For instance, 6-month values of alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP; 72.58±34.88 vs 74.51±36.01 g/L; p=0.47) and C-reactive protein (CRP; 3.43±8.17 vs 3.48±7.88 mg/L; p=0.95) were similar between groups.
The only exception was insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, which was significantly higher in those who were not given zinc (1,019.10±333.01 vs 981.13±297.59 ng/mL; p=0.03).
A similar trend was observed for multivitamin supplementation. At any time point, infants who were vs were not given multivitamins showed comparable levels of markers, such as 6-month AGP (74.35±36.84 vs 72.81±34.12 g/L; p=0.54) and CRP (3.58±8.78 vs 3.33±7.23 mg/L; p=0.73). In contrast, antilipopolysaccharide immunoglobulin G levels at 6 months were significantly higher in those who were given multivitamin supplementation (1.41±0.61 vs 1.26±0.65; p=0.006).