The Effects of a Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement on Micronutrient Status, Antioxidant Capacity and Cytokine Production in Healthy Older Adults Consuming a Fortified Diet
Diane L. McKay, MS, Gayle Perrone, MS, Helen Rasmussen, MS, RD, Gerard Dallal, PhD, Wilburta Hartman, PhD, Guohua Cao, PhD, Ronald L. Prior, PhD, Ronenn Roubenoff, MD, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, PhD
Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Inadequate micronutrient intake among older adults is common despite the increased prevalence of fortified/enriched foods in the American diet. Although many older adults take multivitamin supplements in an effort to compensate, studies examining the benefits of this behavior are absent.
Objective: To determine whether a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement can improve micronutrient status, plasma antioxidant capacity and cytokine production in healthy, free-living older adults already consuming a fortified diet.
Methods: An eight-week double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial among 80 adults aged 50 to 87 years (mean = 66.5 ± 8.6 years).
Results: Multivitamin treatment significantly increased (p < 0.01, compared to placebo) plasma concentrations of vitamins D (77 to 100 nmol/L), E (27 to 32 umol/L), pyridoxal phosphate (55.1 to 75.2 nmol/L), folate (23 to 33 nmol/L), B12 (286 to 326 pmol/L)), C (55 to 71 umol/L), and improved the riboflavin activity coefficient (1.23 to 1.15), but not vitamins A and thiamin. The multivitamin reduced the prevalence of suboptimal plasma levels of vitamins E (p = 0.003), B12 (p = 0.004), and C (p = 0.08). Neither glutathione peroxidase activity nor antioxidant capacity (ORAC) were affected. No changes were observed in interleukin-2, -6 or -10 and prostaglandin E2, proxy measures of immune responses.
Conclusions: Supplementation with a multivitamin formulated at about 100% Daily Value can decrease the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin status in older adults and improve their micronutrient status to levels associated with reduced risk for several chronic diseases.