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Zinc fights infections in seniors

A new study finds that seniors who take zinc supplements are at significantly less risk of infections, in part because of zinc’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, both of which improve immune function.

“Dietary zinc intake declines with advancing age,” said Ananda S. Prasad, MD, PhD, MACN, and lead author of the study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Deficiency in zinc makes elderly people more susceptible to infection, in part because cell-mediated immunity depends on the mineral.”
“Zinc also functions as an antioxidant and thus can play a role in stabilization of cell membranes,” Prasad added.