Recent study findings suggest that zinc-fortified foods may help adolescents perform better in school.

In a recent study of over 200 seventh graders, those who consumed fruit juice supplemented with zinc cut their reaction time on a visual memory test by 12 percent, compared with 6 percent for students who received regular juice. The students who drank the zinc fortified beverage also had more correct answers on a word recognition test and had better scores on a task requiring sustained attention and vigilance.

However, test performance did not improve significantly in students who were already meeting recommended daily allowances for zinc intake.

Researchers note that it is important to remember that these results were achieved in a group of adolescents who were not zinc deficient. If benefits can be seen from a slight increase in zinc intake for these students, an increase in zinc consumption for populations with a deficiency seem promising. As a result, these results may help fuel a review of recommended zinc intake guidelines for adolescents

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