A New Insight into Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Zinc in Diarrhea

Authors

  • Kazi Mirajul Hoque,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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  • Rafiquel Sarker,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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  • Sandra E. Guggino,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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  • Chung-Ming Tse

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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Address for correspondence: Drs. Kazi Mirajul Hoque and Chung-Ming Tse, Department of Med/GI Division, Johns Hopkins University, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205. Voice: +410-614-0132; fax: +410-955-9677. kmh_niced@yahoo.co.in and mtse@jhmi.edu

Abstract

An increasing amount of data showing the beneficial use of zinc (Zn) in treating diarrhea continues to emerge from epidemiological and clinical trials. However, without a thorough understanding of physiological mechanisms of Zn, it does not support policy recommendation to advocate the therapeutic use of Zn. Our data demonstrate that Zn is a potential antidiarrheal agent that provides substantial benefit by stimulating sodium absorption and inhibiting chloride secretion in intestinal epithelial cells. Thus, inclusion of Zn in oral rehydration solution (ORS) has the potential to markedly augment the effectiveness of ORS in the treatment of diarrhea.

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