According to the last Encuesta Nacional de Situación Nutricional en Colombia (Ensin, Spanish acronym for National Nutrition Survey of Colombia), 43% of children between the ages of one and four in Colombia suffer from zinc deficiency.
According to the webpage Medlinepluse.com, zinc is an important element that is especially needed by pregnant women and children in order for them to stay healthy, as it is key to the proper functioning of the body’s immune system. More than 85% of this mineral in the body is deposited in muscles, bones, testicles, hair, nails and in pigmented eye tissue.
Daily requirement of this nutrient varies between 2 to 10 milligrams a day and is found mostly in seafood, meat and milk products and although it can also be found in nuts and seeds and in fortified cereals. Its daily recommended dose is naturally met by maintaining a normal diet.
The first reports on the importance of zinc in humans were released during the 1960s. Studies were conducted on malnourished children in the Middle East (Egypt and Iran) who were suffering from anemia, stunted growth and delays in their sexual development due to the lack of this mineral. They responded positively to the consumption of zinc supplements and experienced an increase in T cells and a reduction in the seriousness and duration of their infections.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a balanced diet should be complete, balanced and should include necessary vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc. With school-age children, this diet should be more strictly followed do to the fact that the demands of their metabolism are greater.
According to Unicef, about three million children die from malnutrition each year. According to the National Health Institute, since the beginning of 2016, more than 100 children under the age of five have died from this condition in Colombia.