Thursday, January 08, 2009

Vitamin E Enhances Elders' Immune Systems

Long-term nursing home residents who took 200 International Units (IU) of vitamin E daily for one year were 20 percent less likely to catch colds or other upper respiratory infections than peers who took a four-IU capsule of this essential nutrient. The federally recommended upper limit for vitamin E is 1,500 IUs a day

Because of seniors' highly vulnerable immune systems, upper respiratory infections pose a greater health threat to them than to most other age groups.

Researchers studied the weekly health reports of 617 men and women, all over age 65, who participated in the vitamin E study. The scientists, based at the ARS Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Mass., reported their results in a 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ and leafy green vegetables.

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