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Table 2 Zinc supplementation studies in elderly.

From: The immune system and the impact of zinc during aging

Subjects Number Intervention1 Effect Reference
institutionalized > 70 years 15 (C) 15 (Z) 100 mg zinc as sulfate one month increased T cell numbers, DTH, and response to tetanus vaccine compared to control group [130]
anergic to DTH, 64–76 years 5 (Z) 55 mg zinc as sulfate four weeks improved DTH [132]
free-living, 60–89 years 36 (P) 36 (Z,15) 31(Z,100) 15 or 100 mg Zn as acetate 3 months no effect on DTH or in vitro lymphocyte proliferation [137]
zinc-deficient males, 65–78 years 8 (Z) 60 mg zinc as acetate 4.5 months increase in DTH after supplementation [131]
free-living, 60–89 years 24 (P) 20 (Z,15) 19(Z,100) 15 or 100 mg Zn as acetate 12 months negative effect on DTH, NK cell activation only after 3 months [138]
institutionalized, 73–106 years 44 (P)/(Z) crossover 20 mg zinc as gluconate 8 weeks increased thymulin activity [136]
zinc deficient, 50–80 years 13 (Z) 30 mg zinc as gluconate 6 months increase in plasma thymulin activity, IL-1, and DTH after supplementation [115]
institutionalized, 64–100 years 190 (C) 160 (Z) 90 mg zinc as sulfate 60 days no effect of zinc on response to influenza vaccination [149]
institutionalized, ≥ 65 years 30 (P) 28 (Z) 25 mg zinc as sulfate 3 months increase in CD4+DR+ T cells and cytotoxic T cells compared to placebo [133]
free-living, 65–82 years 19 (Z) 10 mg zinc as aspartate 7 weeks reduced levels of activated T helper cells and basal IL-6 release from PBMC, improved T cell response [140, 141]
institutionalized 25(P) 24(Z) 6(P) 6(Z) 45 mg as gluconate 12 months 45 mg as gluconate 6 months reduced incidence of infections increased IL-2 mRNA in response to ex vivo stimulation with PHA [33, 128]
healthy, 55–70 y. 31 (P) 28/34 (Z) 15/30 mg zinc as gluconate 6 months no effect on markers of inflammation or immunity [134]
  1. 1The values are given as elemental zinc
  2. DTH: delayed type hypersensitivity reaction, (C) control group without supplementation, (P) placebo, (Z) zinc supplementation