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Opgepoetst | 6-9-2019

Zinc supplements stimulate growth if taken regularly

Extra zinc can help improve growth in rural Ethiopian children, according to nutritionist Melaku Umeta. Newborn children that are given extra zinc in the first six months grow taller, heavier, eat more and are less sick.

The staple foods in the Ethiopian diet contain relatively large amounts of zinc, but the human body has difficulty absorbing it, discovered Umeta, because of the phytate in the same foods.

Zinc supplements can help but only if taken regularly. When Umeta stopped his research, and returned to examine his subjects after three years, there was no trace to be seen of the effects of the supplements. The children who had received zinc had the same weight and height, and were sick just as often as the children who had not had supplements.

Melaku Umeta received his PhD on 17 March, and was supervised by Professor Jo Hautvast, Wageningen University.

Weekblad voor Wageningen UR, 20 maart 2003.




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