Daily micronutrient supplements enhance delayed-hypersensitivity skin test responses in older people.
A placebo-controlled double-blind trial of the effects of daily micronutrient supplements on circulating vitamin and trace metal concentrations and delayed-hypersensitivity skin test (DHST) responses was conducted. Subjects, aged 59-85 y, were randomly assigned to placebo (n = 27) or micronutrient (n = 29) treatment groups. DHST and circulating concentrations of nine micronutrients were measured before and after 6 and 12 mo of micronutrient ingestion. For the micronutrient group, there were statistically significant increases at 6 and/or 12 mo in the mean serum concentrations of ascorbate, beta-carotene, folate, vitamin B-6, and alpha-tocopherol. There was a significant increase at 12 mo in the number of subjects in the placebo group with one or more low concentrations. DHST responses to a panel of seven recall antigens were significantly increased at 12 mo in the micronutrient group but not the placebo group. This study demonstrates that daily supplementation with low-to-moderate doses of micronutrients can prevent low concentrations of some micronutrients and can improve DHST responses in healthy, independently living older adults.
Bogden, JD; Bendich, A; Kemp, FW; Bruening, KS; Shurnick, JH; Denny, T; Baker, H; Louria, DB
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