Vitamin E supplements ward off colds in the elderly and may help some seniors avoid upper respiratory tract infections that can prove deadly, researchers said on Tuesday.
Vitamin E supplements ward off colds in the elderly and may help some seniors avoid upper respiratory tract infections that can prove deadly, researchers said on Tuesday.In the study of 617 nursing home patients aged 65 or older, those who swallowed a vitamin E supplement daily had significantly fewer common colds and had a 20 percent overall lower risk of acquiring a cold, compared to participants given a harmless placebo.More patients taking the vitamin avoided upper respiratory tract infections than in the placebo group during the one-year study period. However, the vitamin did not reduce lower respiratory tract infections.Respiratory illnesses in the elderly can be debilitating and lead to complications and death, study author Simin Meydani of Tufts University in Boston wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.”It is recognized that nutrition has a major impact on disease resistance, and Meydani’s group has previously shown that vitamin E supplementation improves measures of immune response. The current study shows an impact on actual disease incidence,” Annette Dickinson, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group for the nutritional supplement industry, said in a statement.(Source: Reuters, August 2004)