In this paper, two researchers from Chungbuk National University in South Korea and Tufts University in the U.S. focused on zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin D and their roles and impact on immune function and infection in the elderly. They discussed the results of observational studies and interventional clinical trials on the effect of these vitamins, and their review was published in the journal Nutrition Research.
The immune system undergoes adverse alterations when people age, and these alterations are implicated in the increased morbidity and mortality associated with infection in the elderly.
The elderly also are likely to have poor nutrition, which also affects their already impaired immune function.
The symptoms of zinc deficiency are similar to the age-related changes in immune function.
Vitamin E intake above recommended levels enhances immune functions in the elderly and reduces the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased risk of infection in the elderly.
The researchers established that zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin D supplementation is important for the elderly as it affects their immune system significantly.