Research: FORTES and colleagues, Ep

Listed in Issue 23


FORTES and colleagues, Epidemiologic Unit, Lazio Region, Rome Italy investigated the effect of vitamin A, zinc or both upon plasma lipid peroxides in a healthy elderly population.



178 residents in a Public home for elderly people were evaluated regarding health and nutritional status. 136 individuals participated in a double-blind randomised controlled trial supplementation of vitamin A and zinc and were randomised into 4 treatment groups: 1) vitamin A (800 mcg retinol palmitate); 2) zinc (25 mg zinc sulphate); 3) vitamin A and zinc (800 mcg retinol palmitate and 25 mg zinc sulphate; 4) placebo (starch containing capsules). 118 people completed the trial which lasted for 3 months.


Zinc supplementation was associated with a decrease in plasma lipid peroxides after adjustments for sex, smoking habits, baseline plasma lipid peroxides and vitamin A plasma levels.


Zinc supplementation decreased lipid peroxides while vitamin A had no effect in this elderly population. Adequate zinc intake or supplementation may play an important role in the prevention and/or modulation of diseases in elderly people.


Fortes C et al. Zinc supplementation and plasma lipid peroxides in an elderly population. Eur J Clin Nutr 51(2): 97-101. Feb 1997.

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