Original Article

Zinc and Vitamin B12 Levels in Children with Learning Disabilities


  • Birce Dilge Taşkın
  • Zeynep Selen Karalök
  • Ümmü Aydoğmuş
  • Esra Gürkaş
  • Merve Yoldaş
  • Alev Güven
  • Cahide Yılmaz

Received Date: 06.06.2016 Accepted Date: 04.08.2016 J Pediatr Res 2016;3(4):187-190


In childhood, while zinc deficiency is related to learning disabilities, concentration impairment, delayed cognitive development; low vitamin B12 level may lead to memory problems, mood and behavioral changes. Our aim is to investigate the effects of zinc and vitamin B12 deficiencies on learning disabilities, which are being more frequently defined and becoming a social problem in our country.

Materials and Methods:

This study was performed on a total of 412 children. Two hundred six children with learning disabilities between the ages of 4 and 18, who had been referred to Ankara Pediatric Hematology - Oncology Training and Research Hospital Neurology Clinic; and 206 healthy controls between the ages of 4 and 18, who applied the to pediatrics clinic, between March and December 2014 were included in the study.


Of the 206 children with learning disabilities, 136 (66%) were male and 70 (34%) were female. In the control group, 120 (58%) children were male, 86 (42%) were female. We determined a significant difference in the blood serum zinc levels of the children with learning disabilities and the healthy control group (p=0.00). However, there was no significant difference in vitamin B12 levels (p=0.12).


In our study, we found that the zinc levels of children with learning disabilities were significantly low compared to the zinc levels of the normal children of the same age. It was determined that there was an association between zinc deficiency and learning disabilities, however, no association was found between vitamin B12 deficiency and learning disabilities. Thus, we came to the conclusion that simply giving oral zinc supplements to the children who have learning disabilities can be an alternative treatment.

Keywords: Vitamin B12 deficiency, zinc deficiency, learning disabilities

Full Text (Turkish)