Early Zinc Supplementation and Enhanced Growth of the Low-Birth Weight Neonate


  • Ola El-Farghali Ain Shams University, Children's Hospital Cairo, Abbassia sq., Cairo 11351
  • Mohamed Abd El-Wahed Ain Shams University, Children's Hospital Cairo, Abbassia sq., Cairo 11351
  • Nayera E. Hassan National Research Centre - Biological Anthropology, National Research Centre, ElBuhose street, Dokki
  • Safaa Imam Ain Shams University, Children's Hospital Cairo, Abbassia sq., Cairo 11351
  • Khadija Alian National Research Centre - Biological Anthropology, National Research Centre, ElBuhose street, Dokki, Giza , Cairo 12622




low birth weight, zinc, supplementation, catch-up growth, micronutrients


BACKGROUND: Nutritional deficits are almost universal in Low-Birth Weight babies. Zinc is essential for normal infant growth and its supplementation assists growth probably through insulin-like growth factor-1.

AIM: This double-blind randomized-controlled trial aimed at evaluating the role of zinc in catch-up growth of low-birth-weight infants and investigating its proposed mediator.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was conducted in Ain Shams University Maternity Hospital. Two hundred low-birth-weight neonates were simply randomized to either oral zinc therapy or placebo. Anthropometric measurements were recorded at birth, 3, 6, and 12 months; including weight, recumbent length, head, waist, chest, and mid-upper arm circumferences, and triceps and sub-scapular skin fold thickness.

RESULTS: We found that initial and 3-months measurements, except weight, were comparable in the 2 groups. All measurements at 6- and 12-months, except sub-scapular skin-fold-thickness, were significantly higher in zinc group than placebo. Catch-up growth, at 12-months, was significant in zinc group and was significantly higher in appropriate-for-gestational-age vs. small-for-gestational-age, in preterm vs. term, and in male vs. female infants. The median 6-months insulin-like growth factor-1 levels were significantly higher in zinc group.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that early start of oral zinc supplementation in low-birth-weight neonates assists catch-up growth, probably through rise of insulin-like growth factor-1.


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How to Cite

El-Farghali O, Abd El-Wahed M, Hassan NE, Imam S, Alian K. Early Zinc Supplementation and Enhanced Growth of the Low-Birth Weight Neonate. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2014 Dec. 17 [cited 2022 Aug. 14];3(1):63-8. Available from: https://oamjms.eu/index.php/mjms/article/view/oamjms.2015.007



B - Clinical Sciences

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