Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Age (Dordr). 2013 Jun;35(3):839-60. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9377-3. Epub 2012 Jan 6.

Zinc: dietary intake and impact of supplementation on immune function in elderly.

Author information

1
Ctr. Nutrition and Ageing, Italian National Research Centres on Ageing (INRCA), Via Birarelli 8, 60121, Ancona, Italy. e.mocchegiani@inrca.it

Abstract

The diet in the elderly does not provide a sufficient level of nutrients needed to maintain an adequate healthy status leading to micronutrient deficiencies and impaired immune response with subsequent development of degenerative diseases. Nutrient "zinc" is a relevant micronutrient involved in maintaining a good integrity of many body homeostatic mechanisms, including immune efficiency, owing to its requirement for the biological activity of many enzymes, proteins and for cellular proliferation and genomic stability. Old people aged 60-65 years and older have zinc intakes below 50% of the recommended daily allowance on a given day. Many causes can be involved: among them, altered intestinal absorption, inadequate mastication, psychosocial factors, drugs interactions, altered subcellular processes (zinc transporters (Zip and ZnT family), metallothioneins, divalent metal transporter-1). Zinc supplementation may remodel the immune alterations in elderly leading to healthy ageing. Several zinc trials have been carried out with contradictory data, perhaps due to incorrect choice of an effective zinc supplementation in old subjects showing subsequent zinc toxic effects on immunity. Old subjects with specific IL-6 polymorphism (GG allele carriers; named C-) are more prone for zinc supplementation than the entire old population, in whom correct dietary habits with foods containing zinc (Mediterranean diet) may be sufficient in restoring zinc deficiency and impaired immune response. We summarise the main causes of low zinc dietary intake in elderly reporting an update on the impact of zinc supplementation upon the immune response also on the basis of individual IL-6 polymorphism.

PMID:
22222917
PMCID:
PMC3636409
DOI:
10.1007/s11357-011-9377-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center