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While most research on the recommended daily allowance of micronutrients has been conducted on adults aged 18–48, less is known about the nutritional needs of adults aged 70 and over.
Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU; Corvalis, OR) are seeking participants for an upcoming study to explore the impact multivitamin supplementation has on the nutritional status and overall health of men aged 70 and older.
While most research on the recommended daily allowance of micronutrients has been conducted on adults aged 18–48, less is known about the nutritional needs of older adults, according to researchers at OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute. In fact, older adults, and older men in particular, suffer from higher nutritional deficiencies than the general population and may require a different approach to multivitamins.
“Older adults often have poor nutrition. They lose some of their sense of taste and flavor and they absorve micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals less effectively,” said Tory Hagen, professor for healthy aging research at the Linus Pauling Institute. “They are getting fewer of these nutrients even as the demand for those nutrients increases with age. This can increase their risk for chronic disease.”
The double-blind, placebo-controlled study, funded by a grant from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, will include 40 men aged 70 or over who are in generally good health. Researchers chose to study men, rather than women, because older men are more likely to have diets deficient in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
Study participants will consume either a placebo or Pfizer’s Centrum Silver multivitamin for four months, with researchers measuring participant plasma to assess antioxidant status, lipoprotein profiles, inflammation, and metabolic health. The study will also look at the activity levels, energy reserve, and cognitive function of participants, as determined by results of activity monitoring devices participants will be required to wear and cognitive testing to assess common processing functions.
“We’ll finally learn more about how these micronutrients are being used in the body, especially in older adults, and whether or not the levels being taken will help address health issues,” Hagen said.
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