The effects of a multivitamin/mineral supplement on micronutrient status, antioxidant capacity and cytokine production in healthy older adults consuming a fortified diet.


McKay DL, Perrone G, Rasmussen H, Dallal G, Hartman W, Cao G, Prior RL, Roubenoff R, Blumberg JB.




J Am Coll Nutr


BACKGROUND: Inadequate micronutrient intake among older adults is common despite the increased prevalence of fortified/enriched foods in the American diet. Although many older adults take multivitamin supplements in an effort to compensate, studies examining the benefits of this behavior are absent. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement can improve micronutrient status, plasma antioxidant capacity and cytokine production in healthy, free-living older adults already consuming a fortified diet. METHODS: An eight-week double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial among 80 adults aged 50 to 87 years (mean = 66.5 +/- 8.6 years). RESULTS: Multivitamin treatment significantly increased (p<0.01, compared to placebo) plasma concentrations of vitamins D (77 to 100 nmol/L), E (27 to 32 micromol/L), pyridoxal phosphate (55.1 to 75.2 nmol/L), folate (23 to 33 nmol/L), B12 (286 to 326 pmol/L)), C (55 to 71 micromol/L), and improved the riboflavin activity coefficient (1.23 to 1.15), but not vitamins A and thiamin. The multivitamin reduced the prevalence of suboptimal plasma levels of vitamins E (p=0.003), B12 (p=0.004), and C (p=0.08). Neither glutathione peroxidase activity nor antioxidant capacity (ORAC) were affected. No changes were observed in interleukin-2, -6 or -10 and prostaglandin E2, proxy measures of immune responses. CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation with a multivitamin formulated at about 100% Daily Value can decrease the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin status in older adults and improve their micronutrient status to levels associated with reduced risk for several chronic diseases.