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Seniors, watch your zinc levels!

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A research team from Tufts University, Boston, has found that the immune system can be boosted in seniors by increasing levels of zinc in the body.

Knowing that the immune system is weakened by age, and can be impaired further by low levels of zinc according to their previous studies, the team wanted to see if the immune system in older adults residing in a nursing home could be boosted by increasing their levels of zinc.

To do this the team administered zinc supplements to zinc-deficient seniors aged 65 years or older who resided in three different Boston nursing homes.

The study’s participants all had baseline serum levels of zinc that ranged from a low level of zinc to very zinc-deficient.

Twenty-five participants completed the three-month study, with 12 receiving a daily multi-vitamin with 30mg of zinc and 13 receiving a daily placebo of a daily multi-vitamin with only 5mg of zinc.

As well as measuring any improvement in the levels of zinc in the body, the team also measured any improvement in the immune system by looking at the immune system’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell.

They found that […]