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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov;59 Suppl 2:S1-4.

Importance of zinc in the elderly: the ZENITH study.

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Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine d'Auvergne, Unité Maladies Métaboliques et Micronutriments, Centre de Recherche INRA Clermont-Ferrand/Theix, Saint Genès Champanelle, France.


The elderly are at nutritional risk as a result of multiple physiological, social, psychological, and economic factors. Physiological functions naturally decline with age, which may influence absorption and metabolism. Social and economic conditions can adversely affect dietary choices and eating patterns. However, at the same time, the nutrient needs of the elderly for certain nutrient (such as vitamins, minerals, proteins) is higher than for younger adults. This article reviews the importance of zinc (Zn) in elderly people, particularly for behavioural and mental function, micronutrient status, immune and antioxidant system, and bone metabolism.

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