Interactions between zinc deficiency and environmental enteropathy in developing countries

GW, Lindenmayer; RJ, Stoltzfus; AJ, Prendergast
Zinc deficiency affects one-fifth of the world’s population and leads to substantial morbidity and mortality. Environmental enteropathy (EE), a subclinical pathology of altered intestinal morphology and function, is almost universal among people living in developing countries and affects long-term growth and health. This review explores the overlapping nature of these 2 conditions and presents evidence for their interaction. EE leads to impaired zinc homeostasis, predominantly due to reduced absorptive capacity arising from disturbed intestinal architecture, and zinc deficiency exacerbates several of the proposed pathways that underlie EE, including intestinal permeability, enteric infection, and chronic inflammation. Ongoing zinc deficiency likely perpetuates the adverse outcomes of EE by worsening malabsorption, reducing intestinal mucosal immune responses, and exacerbating systemic inflammation. Although the etiology of EE is predominantly environmental, zinc deficiency may also have a role in its pathogenesis. Given the impact of both EE and zinc deficiency on morbidity and mortality in developing countries, better understanding the relation between these 2 conditions may be critical for developing combined interventions to improve child health.
Research areas:
Year:
2014
Type of Publication:
Article
Journal:
Advances in Nutrition
Volume:
5
Number:
1
Pages:
1-6
Month:
January
DOI:
10.3945/​an.113.004838
Hits: 155

About Zvitambo

The Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research is a multidisciplinary Zimbabwean organization that has developed and attracted expertise in various areas of biomedical and applied research and programming in the areas of maternal health, child health and growth, immunology, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, WASH and counseling

Read more

Join Mailing List

Sign up for the latest updates from Zvitambo Institute for Maternal & Child Health Research.

Contact Zvitambo

16 Lauchlan Ave
Meyrick Park
Mabelreign
Harare
Zimbabwe

Tel : +263 4 306056 / 306259 /306028
Fax : +263 4 311069
Email : administrator@zvitambo.co.zw