Recent research shows that zinc supplements could help new born babies fight infections – babies who are on antibiotics may respond better if zinc is added to the treatment found researchers.
Zinc is also important for new born otherwise for new born infants. We look at why.
Zinc could help newborns fight infection
The journal Lancet published a study conducted with Indian new born infants, where treatment of babies with blood poisoning, sepsis, meningitis or pneumonia and other life threatening infections was studied.
It was found that when babies were given a zinc supplement in addition to their antibiotics the chances of the treatments’ success increased.
The study also observed that babies with zinc deficiencies (in low income countries in particular), had higher rates of infection.
It has been observed that even a mild deficiency of zinc could compromise the immunity of a child. It is also seen to be a low cost and effective way to boost the efficacy of antibiotics.
There is also one view that a zinc supplement could help new born infants who are born prematurely. It is thought that the supplement could help improve growth and development of premature babies.
Do new born babies need a zinc supplement?
Zinc is very important for cell health and performs several important functions in the body. Its deficiency could slow down healing, cause reduced sensitivity to smell and taste, and poor immunity.
Zinc deficiency could also cause poor night vision and poor development of reproductive organs.
Your doctor would be the best person to decide whether or not your baby needs a zinc supplement, but the general guidelines for supplementing are as follows:
Women who are breastfeeding may not need to give supplements to their babies if they are healthy themselves and have no deficiencies or disorders. Normal breast milk as well as formula will contain most of the nutrients that babies need and there may be no need for any supplementation (with the exception of vitamin D which is usually recommended for breastfed infants).
However, women who have a vegan diet or those who have undergone weight reduction surgery may have certain nutritional deficiencies or may have trouble absorbing certain nutrients. It may be necessary to have a zinc supplement here. The doctor should be consulted as to what the dosage for mother and/or baby should be.