Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Zinc May Reduce Pneumonia Risk In Nursing Home Elderly

Date:
October 23, 2007
Source:
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Summary:
Maintaining normal serum zinc concentration in the blood may help reduce the risk of pneumonia development in elderly nursing home residents. Study participants with normal serum zinc concentrations in their blood reduced their risk of developing pneumonia by about 50 percent.

When elderly nursing home residents contract pneumonia, it is a blow to their already fragile health. Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and colleagues report that maintaining normal serum zinc concentration in the blood may help reduce the risk of pneumonia development in that population.

Related Articles


"Based on our data, it appears that daily zinc intake can help nursing home residents who are susceptible to pneumonia, especially those with low serum zinc concentrations in their blood," says Meydani, corresponding author and director of the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA . "The study participants with normal serum zinc concentrations in their blood reduced their risk of developing pneumonia by about 50 percent. Additionally, deaths from all causes were 39 percent lower in this group."

Meydani and colleagues analyzed blood samples from a previous study that investigated the role of Vitamin E in preventing respiratory infections in nursing home residents ages 65 and older. The study enrolled 617 men and women from 33 nursing homes in the Boston area. All of the participants received daily supplements containing 50 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of several vitamins and minerals, including zinc, for one year. Foods that provide zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry, whole grains, beans and dairy products.

In the present study, published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors compared blood samples collected at the beginning and the conclusion of the one-year study. The participants whose serum zinc concentrations remained low throughout that 12-month period had more difficulty battling pneumonia.

"Not only did those participants have a higher risk of developing pneumonia when they did become sick, they did not recover as quickly and required a longer course of antibiotics," says Meydani, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, both at Tufts University. "We also noted a higher rate of death from all causes."

Maintaining normal serum zinc concentration in the blood throughout the 12-month study period benefited the participants even if they did develop pneumonia. Meydani adds, "Those participants with normal serum zinc concentrations in their blood were more likely to spend fewer days on antibiotics and recover more quickly."

Meydani and colleagues conclude that zinc may reduce the risk of pneumonia, and its associated complications in nursing home residents. "Zinc is already known to strengthen the immune system; however, there needs to be further investigation of zinc and its effect on pneumonia development and prevention in nursing homes," Meydani says. "The next step would likely be a clinical trial."

Reference: Meydani SM, , Barnett JB, Dallal ,GE, Fine BC, Jacques PF, Leka LD, and Hamer, DH., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007: 86: 1167-1173. "Serum zinc and pneumonia in nursing home elderly."

The study was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and by grants from the National Institutes of Health and, for the preparation of the study capsules, Hoffmann-La Roche Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division (currently DSM Nutritional Products).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University, Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tufts University, Health Sciences. "Zinc May Reduce Pneumonia Risk In Nursing Home Elderly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022120214.htm>.
Tufts University, Health Sciences. (2007, October 23). Zinc May Reduce Pneumonia Risk In Nursing Home Elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022120214.htm
Tufts University, Health Sciences. "Zinc May Reduce Pneumonia Risk In Nursing Home Elderly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022120214.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins