The study also revealed that the nutrition status changes could have direct associations with cellular function, measured by the individual’s blood cell oxygen consumption. The results indicate that supplementation could be an important tool for helping individuals stay healthier as they grow older.
A lot of older individuals take a multivitamin, believing it will help improve their health. Prior research has however found conflicting results with regard to multivitamins and the risk of disease. The researchers wanted to know if multivitamin supplementation may be effective at improving nutrition biomarkers in older individuals.
The researchers enrolled 35 otherwise healthy men age 68 or older for the study with half receiving a multivitamin supplement and the other half receiving a placebo with each group not knowing what they were getting.
None of them were permitted to receive other supplements throughout the study, excepting for doctor-prescribed vitamin D.
The tests taken at the start of the study revealed that several older men weren’t getting the optimal levels of several vitamins, definitely leaving room for improvement.
Differences between the supplement group and placebo group were noticeable after the 6-month study. While individuals getting the multivitamin exhibited improved nutrition biomarkers, individuals taking the placebo didn’t.
Blood nutrition biomarkers decreased in several of the individuals allocated to the placebo group throughout the study. This indicates that food alone wasn’t sufficient for maintaining their levels of vitamins and carotenoids.
Carotenoids are red, orange, and yellow plant-synthesized pigments, and they play various roles in health. Certain carotenoids such as beta-carotene can provide an extra source of vitamin A.
Even though the risk of disease wasn’t measured, white blood cells were tested, part of the body’s immune system.
The researchers were astonished to discover that the men taking the placebo exhibited reduced cellular oxygen consumption, a cell function indicator. This wasn’t seen in men taking the multivitamin, indicating an association between white blood cell function and vitamin status.
The evidence suggests that a lot of older men can potentially benefit from taking a multivitamin every day, although the response did vary from person to person. Understanding who benefits the most will be important for future multivitamin studies that assess the of risk disease.