A study conducted in India indicates that giving zinc supplements to newborns with serious infections may save lives, The New York Times reported.

Researchers compared more than 700 infants under 4 months old who had pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis and were being treated with antibiotics.  Half the infants received a zinc supplement and the other half received a placebo.

The infants who got zinc had 40 percent less ‘treatment failure,’ which meant anything from death to the need to switch antibiotics.  According to the Times, 17 children in the placebo group died, while only 10 in the zinc group did.

The researchers called the study “a major finding,” but stressed the results should be replicated before altering any global policies.

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