Zinc deficiency in healthy adults leads to impaired immune response, with an effect on the activation status of helper T cells.
Mild zinc deficiency is a common condition in healthy elderly individuals leading to impaired cell-mediated immune response. Here we report the effect of improved zinc status on TH1/TH2 balance. Covering on the activation status of T-helper cells in 19 healthy elderly subjects aged 69.8 ± 5.1 years. Our investigations revealed a mild zinc deficiency which was adjusted by oral zinc supplementation for seven weeks. Improved serum zinc levels significantly reduced levels of activated T-helper cells. Whereas changes in TH1/TH2 ratio (determined by CCR4 and CCR5 expression) were not observed. These findings suggest that elderly individuals may benefit from moderate zinc supplementation due to improved immune response leading to reduced incidences of autoimmune diseases and infections.
Effect of improved zinc status on T–helper cell activation and TH1/TH2 ratio in healthy elderly individuals
Laura Kahmann, Peter Uciechowski, Sabine Warmuth Marco Malavolta, Eugenio Mocchegiani, Lothar Rink
Biogerontology (2006) 7:429–435, DOI 10.1007/s10522-006-9058-2
Harmful environmental influences such as ozone, UV rays, exhaust gases, heavy metals and severe physical stress cause our body to be exposed to free radicals (= aggressive particles that chemically change the body’s cells). Mistakes in nutrition, stress, hectic life and excessive exercise can also deplete the immune system.
Both “classic” and recently established “vital” substances are known in food medicine, which are crucial for a healthy immune system.
Zinc is the main trace element for maintaining a healthy immune system, as it has a positive effect on its own production and activation of important protective cells in the body (so-called T-cells). Zinc deficiency in healthy adults leads to impaired immune response and is a reported effect in the status of activation of helper T cells.