Vitamin/mineral supplementation, the aging immune response, and risk
Nutr Rev 1993 Apr;51(4):106-9 (ISSN: 0029-6643)
Meydani SN USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts
University, Boston, MA 02111.
Immunological vigor declines with age, contributing to increased morbidity
and mortality in the elderly. In addition, the elderly are at greater
risk for low intake of several vitamins and minerals known to influence
the immune response. Recent studies have shown that supplementing the
elderly with single nutrients or mixtures of vitamins and minerals at
levels that exceed the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) significantly
improves certain indices of the immune response. In one study, improved
immune response was associated with decreased frequency of infectious
diseases, indicating that nutrient-induced immunological improvement clinically
enhances the health of the elderly.