Zinc Update: The Effect of a Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement on Immune Function in Healthy Older Adults |
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Zinc Update: The Effect of a Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement on Immune Function in Healthy Older Adults

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Older adults are at increased risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies that contribute to age-related immune system decline.

A new study published in Nutrients aimed to test the hypothesis that taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement (MVM) could improve immune function in individuals at the age of 55 years and older.

In this double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial provided healthy older adults with either an MVM supplement formulated to improve immune function or an identical, inactive placebo control – to be taken daily for 12 weeks. The patients’ blood mineral and vitamin status – vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D; immune function – whole blood bacterial killing activity, neutrophil phagocytic activity and reactive oxygen species production; immune status – salivary IgA and plasma cytokine/chemokine levels; and self-reported health status were measured—prior to and after treatment.

The findings indicated that MVM supplementation improved vitamin C and zinc status in blood, as well as the self-reported health-status, without altering measures of immune function or status or vitamin D levels. The findings suggested that healthy older adults may benefit from MVM supplementation.

It was concluded that further development of functional assays and larger study populations should improve detection of specific changes in immune function after zinc supplementation in healthy older adults.

Source: Nutrients. 2020 Aug 14;12(8):E2447. doi: 10.3390/nu12082447.

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