The Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Cognitive Performance in Schoolchildren

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Professor of Neonatology, Neonatal Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Associated Professor of Motor Behavior Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

4 M.Sc in Medical Education, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction
Zinc is a vital micronutrient in humans and its deficiency in children can thwart their growth and development, compromise their immunity and cognitive function. However, there is a paucity of studies about the effect of zinc supplementation on cognitive functions. This study is an attempt to quantify the impact of zinc supplementation on cognitive performance of schoolchildren.
Materials and Methods
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled field trial was carried out in public elementary school in Mashhad- Iran to investigate the effect of Zinc on cognition of 45 healthy children. The cognitive test used in the trial was Raven IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test. A total of 45 first grade children aged 6 to 8 years were enrolled and divided into two experiment and control groups. The cases group, received 20 mg of zinc sulfate syrup vs.  the control group  received a placebo each day for 6 months. Raven IQ test was administered under basal conditions before and after the supplementation of zinc or placebo.
Results
The memory and intellectual development in the experimental group was significantly more than in the control group (P < 0.05).
Conclusion
The results of the study demonstrate the positive relationship between zinc administration and some aspects of intellectual development and personality features, emphasizing the significance of this element in the normal psychological status of children.

Keywords