Zinc and immunocompetence in elderly people: Effects of zinc supplementation for 3 months

J. D. Bogden, J. M. Oleske, M. A. Lavenhar, E. M. Munves, F. W. Kemp, K. S. Bruening, K. J. Holding, T. N. Denny, M. A. Guarino, L. M. Krieger, B. K. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


One hundred and three apparently healthy elderly subjects age 60-89 y were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: placebo, 15 mg zinc/d, or 100 mg Zn/d for 3 mo. Plasma Zn was significantly increased only in the 100 mg Zn group. Zn concentrations in erythrocytes, platelets, mononuclear cells, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes were not significantly increased by any treatment. None of the treatments significantly altered delayed dermal hypersensitivity (DDH) to a panel of seven recall antigens or in vitro lymphocyte proliferative responses (LPR) to mitogens and antigens. Fifteen subjects had initially poor lymphocyte proliferative responses that improved in 14 of these individuals during the study; this was not due to Zn supplementation but might have been caused by one or more components of a vitamin-mineral supplement administered to all study subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-663
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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