Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Effect of zinc supplementation on vitamin status

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that elderly sectors of population have higher rates of nutritional deficiency, in particular marginal zinc (Zn) deficiency and/or low levels of vitamins; this deficiency can contribute to various chronic and degenerative diseases associated with aging. The overall objective of this study was to investigate the effect of Zn supplementation on vitamin status in the middle-aged and older European volunteers. Dietary intake was assessed by means of a validated 4-d recall record. Fasting blood samples were simultaneously analysed for retinol and a-tocopherol by HLPC method. Erythrocyte folates were measured by a competitive immunoassay with direct chemiluminescence detection on an automatised immunoanalyzer.

Results show that there are moderate differences in the vitamin intake and nutritional status for both middle-aged and old-aged volunteers and evidence of inadequate dietary intakes is generally lacking. Moreover, the biochemical indicators for the vitamins suggest that the circulating levels are in the cut-off point of normality and that any deficiency is observed. Vitamin A levels are significantly increased proportionally with Zn dose (for 30mg Zn/day p<0.05; for 15mg Zn/day p <0.0001), and the effect of Zn is more important after 6 months than 3 months of supplementation; no significant changes are observed in the placebo group.

This effect is not noticed for vitamin E/cholesterol and erytrocyte folates. In conclusion, it is necessary to underline the importance of the dietary adequacy for macro and micronutrients and in presence of micronutrient deficiency, supplementation is strongly recommended to improve health status in elderly. Particularly, any deficiency was observed for the volunteers regarding vitamin status. Zn supplementation influences significantly vitamin A plasma levels, confirming the role of Zn on vitamin A metabolism.

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