Effect of zinc or zinc plus arginine supplementation on antibody titre and lymphocyte subsets after influenza vaccination in elderly subjects: A randomized controlled trial

Mauro Provinciali, Alessio Montenovo, Giuseppina Di Stefano, Mauro Colombo, Laura Daghetta, Marco Cairati, Claudio Veroni, Roberto Cassino, Fabrizio Della Torre, Nicola Fabris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: to evaluate whether oral supplementation with zinc or zinc/arginine increases the antibody response to influenza vaccine or modulates the lymphocyte phenotype in elderly subjects. Design: a randomized controlled trial with two supplemented groups and one control group. Setting: a community nursing home. Participants: 384 subjects aged 64-100 (mean age 82 years) examined in three separate studies. Intervention: oral supplementation with zinc (400 mg/day) or zinc plus arginine (4 g/day for 60 days starting 15 days before influenza vaccination. The control groups received vaccine only. Measurements: haematological and nutritional indices, antibody titre against influenza viral antigens, lypmphocyte phenotype. Results: supplementation with zinc or zinc plus arginine increased zinc plasma concentrations restoring the age-related impairment in zinc concentrations to values found in younger people. The antibody titre against influenza viral antigens was not increased in zinc or zinc/arginine supplemented groups in comparison with subjects receiving vaccine alone. The number of CD3, CD4 or CD8 lymphocytes was not affected by zinc or zinc/arginine supplementation. Conclusion: prolonged supplementation with zinc or zinc/arginine restores zinc plasma concentrations but is ineffective in inducing or ameliorating the antibody response after influenza vaccination in elderly subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume27
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998

Keywords

  • Immune response
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing

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