Zinc plays an important role in immune function. Therefore, a study executed by several research institutes in Boston, USA, investigated whether zinc concentrations in the blood are associated with the incidence and duration of pneumonia, use of antibiotics, and pneumonia-associated deaths. 578 residents of 33 nursing homes in Boston were involved. All participants received a multivitamin supplement, including zinc, daily. The results showed that participants with normal zinc concentrations had a lower pneumonia incidence, lower total antibiotic use (by almost 50%), and shorter duration of pneumonia and antibiotic use than those with low zinc levels in the blood. Additionally, normal zinc levels were associated with a reduced all-cause mortality rate. This means that zinc supplementation may help maintain normal zinc levels in the elderly, and in that way, reduce the incidence of pneumonia and associated morbidity. More details can be found in the study.


Meydani et al.


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