Supplementing seniors with zinc boosts immune function and lowers infection risk, according to a study from USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. Blood zinc levels were measured at baseline in 25 seniors, aged 65-years-old and older, after which the participants were given daily either multi-vitamins with 5 milligrams zinc (placebos) or multi vitamins containing 30 milligrams of zinc. At the end of the three month study, blood zinc levels had increased in the zinc supplemented group by 16%, but only 0.7% in the placebo group. Zinc supplementation also improved functioning of immune cells, such as T cells.
Barnett J, Dao M, Hamer D, et al: Effect of zinc supplementation on serum zinc concentration and T cell proliferation in nursing home elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016; January 27th.