A new analysis of research shows that zinc can cut the severity and duration of acute or persistent diarrhea in children. It is unknown, however, exactly how zinc produces its anti-diarrheal effects.
A pooled analysis of data from 22 relevant studies, which looked at the effects of zinc on more than 18,000 children total, found that zinc cut the average duration of both acute and persistent diarrhea, and zinc therapy reduced the average stool frequency by almost 19 percent for acute diarrhea, and more than 12 percent for persistent diarrhea.
However, zinc was more likely than a placebo to cause vomiting.
* Reuters February 19, 2008