Acquired Zinc Deficiency in Full-term Newborns From Decreased Zinc Content in Breast Milk
Zinc deficiency occurs in children when the demand for zinc exceeds its supply. Malnutrition, prematurity, total parenteral nutrition dependence, and burns increase the demand for zinc, whereas congenital malabsorption syndromes represent clinical situations where less zinc is supplied to the growing child. Clinical recognition of acral eczematous lesions, alopecia, and gastrointestinal tract symptoms in settings of the aforementioned medical history often lead to the diagnosis. Zinc deficiency in healthy, full-term, breast-fed infants can occur. The cause of these deficiencies has been attributed to decreased zinc levels in maternal breast milk. We present a case of acquired zinc deficiency in a healthy breast-fed infant, with a review of the English language literature of reported cases.