story to find out more.
A vitamin E
supplement a day kept the sniffles away - nursing facility residents who took
200 International Units of vitamin E daily for one year were 20 percent less
likely to catch colds. Click the image for more information about
Boost in Immune Response Fights Common Cold
By Rosalie Marion
Bliss April 5, 2005
Nursing facility residents who consumed 200 International Units (IUs)
of vitamin E daily for one year were less likely to get the sniffles than those
who took a placebo. Scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that those who took the moderate
supplements were 20 percent less likely to contract upper respiratory
infections, such as colds.
The study was led by
Nikbin Meydani, director of the
Immunology Laboratory at the
Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in
Boston, Mass. The findings are important because, due to aging, the elderly
have lowered immune responses and incur greater health risks from upper
The scientists studied 617 people over 65 years of age who met the
study's eligibility requirements. All 451 participants who completed the study
were residents in some type of long-term-care nursing facility located in or
around the Boston area.
About half of the participants were given the daily dose of 200 IUs of
vitamin E; the remaining participants received a daily placebo capsule
containing only four IUs of vitamin E. To help control other dietary factors
that affect immune response, all participants received a capsule containing 50
percent of the recommended dietary allowance for essential micronutrients. Each
volunteer was examined for health status on a weekly basis.
Good dietary sources of vitamin E include certain cereals, wheat germ,
nuts--especially sunflower seeds and almonds--leafy green vegetables and
vegetable oils. The National Academy of
Sciences has set an upper tolerable limit for vitamin E of 1,500 IUs a day.
The study results were published in
The Journal of the American Medical
about this research in the April issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.