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Adv Nutr. 2018 Sep 1;9(5):533-543. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmy035.

Perspective: Should Vitamin E Recommendations for Older Adults Be Increased?

Author information

1
Nutritional Immunology Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Current vitamin E requirements are uniformly applied across the population for those >14 y of age. However, aging is associated with alterations in cellular and physiologic functions, which are affected by vitamin E. Therefore, it is questionable whether vitamin E requirements can be uniformly applied to all adult age categories. With aging, there is dysregulation of the immune system in which there are decreased cell-mediated and pathogen defense responses coupled with an overactive, prolonged inflammatory state. Both animal and human studies in the aged suggest that intake above currently recommended levels of vitamin E may improve immune and inflammatory responses and be associated with a reduced risk of infectious disease. We review the evidence that was considered in establishing the current requirements for vitamin E and highlight data that should be considered in determining the vitamin E requirements in older adults, particularly focusing on the evidence suggesting a benefit of increased vitamin E intake on immune function and inflammatory processes and resistance to infection. The main objective of this Perspective is to initiate the discussion of whether the current Dietary Reference Intake for vitamin E should be increased for the older population. We make this suggestion on the basis of mechanistic studies showing biological plausibility, correction of a major cellular dysfunction in older adults, and strong evidence from several animal and a few human studies indicating a reduction in risk and morbidity from infections.

PMID:
30107519
PMCID:
PMC6140432
[Available on 2019-09-01]
DOI:
10.1093/advances/nmy035

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