Nutritional boost helps elderly ward off colds

March 3, 2004 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Nutritional boost helps elderly ward off colds

A nutritional supplement containing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals appears to boost immune system functioning in the elderly, new research indicates. Elderly participants, over the age of 65, who consumed the specially formulated supplement for around 6 months experienced fewer days with cold symptoms, and were more likely to show a strong immune response to a flu vaccine - a sign their bodies were well primed to fight off future infections.

The researchers that supplements are particularly important for the elderly, many of whom become deficient in the nutrients they need to stay healthy due to decreased mobility, diet restrictions resulting from chronic disease and chewing or swallowing problems. A healthy, well-balanced diet that includes a variety of foods would be the ideal way to get the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, this is not always possible for many elderly.

The supplement featured in the current study contained a variety of nutrients that previous studies have suggested may increase immune functioning in seniors, such as zinc and selenium.

The formula is not yet commercially available, but it was developed by Abbott Laboratories, who also funded the research.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.