Background and Objective: Diarrhea (as one of the main manifestations of parasitic or microbial infections
in gastrointestinal tract) is still a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children younger
than 5 years old in developing countries such as Iran.
Objective: Identify and compare the relationship between serum levels of zinc, vitamin A and D in
children with acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and the control group to demonstrate that those who need hospitalization due to
infection have lower levels of said elements.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study on 25 patients with AGE in pediatric ward of Rasul Akram hospital
and Bahrami Hospital during a year (2011-2012), were compared to 40 other patients who were admitted to surgical
wards for elective surgery. 72% of all the patients were male and 28% were female. All patients were older than 6 months
years; mean age of cases was 2.17 years. Serum levels of vitamins A and D and zinc were measured using HPLC; Radioimmunoassay;
atomic methods in 2 groups.
Findings: Despite the lower levels of vitamins A in cases than controls, serum levels were not significantly different
(p=0.5). Serum levels of zinc were considerably but not significantly lower in cases than the controls (p=0.06). However,
serum levels of vitamin D were significantly lower in AGE cases (p=0.003).
Conclusion: We found lower serum levels of vitamin D in AGE cases but no difference had found in serum levels of vitamin
A and zinc between the two groups probably is the end result of various effects of vitamin A and zinc on diarrhea in
different age groups and AGE. This trial emphasizes therapeutic effects of vitamin D supplementation on AGE in children
especially in those with malnutrition and in developing countries. Therefore, other trials on a larger scale designed to investigate
discriminating different etiologies for AGE and in different age groups is performed.