Vitamin status in elderly people in relation to the use of nutritional supplements

Autoren:Fabian, E; Bogner, M; Kickinger, A; Wagner, K H; Elmadfa, I

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the status of several vitamins and to investigate the effect of regular individual supplementation on their status in this population.

DESIGN: An observational study.

SETTING: State of Burgenland, Austria.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 102 non-institutionalized subjects (49% supplementing regularly, 51% without supplementation) aged between 70-90 years were recruited.

MEASUREMENTS: Plasma levels of vitamins A, D, E, K and C were determined by HPLC. The functional parameters of vitamins B1, B2 and B6, i.e. the activities of the erythrocyte enzymes transketolase, glutathione reductase and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, were analyzed photometrically; plasma folate and vitamin B12 were determined by RIA.

RESULTS: The status of vitamins A, E and C was generally satisfactory. Eighty-eight percent and 42% of participants were deficient in vitamins D and K, respectively, as were 29% for B6; up to 10% of participants were deficient in vitamins B1, B2, B12 and folate. A considerable percentage of participants was, however, at risk for vitamin deficiencies (vitamins B1, B6, B12, folate: 20-30%, vitamin B2: 60%). Except for vitamins A and K, regular intake of supplements had a significant positive influence on vitamin levels.

CONCLUSION: These results indicate that use of supplements significantly improved the status of several vitamins in elderly people. Due to age-related problems concerning the intake and digestion of nutrients, a moderate, regular supplementation might be a useful option for older people who are otherwise unable to satisfy their micronutrient requirements.

Anzahl der Seiten:7
Journaltitel:Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Peer reviewed:true