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Inflammation mediates several chronic diseases. Micronutrients can act on inflammation, either through modulating cytokine production or by scavenging by-products of activated white cells. Identifying dietary patterns (DP) reflecting these mechanisms and relating them to inflammation is of interest. The objective of the study was to identify DP specifically associated with intakes of nutrients potentially involved in inflammatory processes in a middle-aged population and investigate long-term associations between these DP and C-reactive protein (CRP) status assessed several years later. Subjects included in the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants 2 cohort study, having available data on dietary assessment carried out in 1994–5 and CRP measurement in 2007–9, were included in the analysis. DP were extracted with reduced rank regression (RRR), using antioxidant micronutrients and PUFA as response variables. Associations between CRP measurements >3 mg/l and extracted DP were then examined with logistic regression models providing OR and 95 % CI. A total of 2031 subjects (53·2 % women, mean follow-up duration: 12·5 years) were included in the analyses. Of the four extracted DP, a DP with high loading values of vegetables and vegetable oils, leading to high intakes of antioxidant micronutrients and essential fatty acids, was significantly and negatively associated with risk of elevated CRP (OR 0·88; 95 % CI 0·78, 0·98). Conversely, a DP reflecting a high n-6:n-3 fatty acid intake ratio was positively and significantly associated with elevated CRP (adjusted OR 1·15; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·32). DP extracted with RRR provide support for further exploration of relationships between dietary behaviour and inflammation.
Given the key role of Zn in many physiological functions, optimal Zn status could be a predictive parameter of successful ageing. However, the benefit of Zn supplementation is still a matter of debate since Zn supplementation has been reported to be associated with the alteration of Cu status and lipid metabolism. As part of the Zenith Project, the present study aimed to investigate, in free-living healthy European middle-aged and older subjects, the effect of Zn supplementation on the biochemical status of Zn, Fe and Cu and on lipid profile. Volunteers aged 55–70 (n 188) and 70–85 (n 199) years old participated in a double-blinded, randomised study and received a daily placebo, or Zn as 15 or 30 mg for 6 months. Zn supplementation did not significantly modify erythrocyte Zn levels or erythrocyte Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase activity. But Zn supplementation at 15 or 30 mg/d for 6 months increased significantly serum Zn levels and Zn urinary excretion with no major adverse effects on Fe and Cu status or on lipid metabolism. However, Zn supplementation at 30 mg/d showed some age- and sex-dependent alterations in Fe status or lipid profile. Therefore, with respect to the key role of an optimal Zn status in successful ageing, Zn supplementation at 15 mg/d, when necessary, could be safely proposed regarding lipids and the risk of interaction with Fe and Cu.
A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled design was employed to investigate the effects of Zn supplementation on cognitive function in 387 healthy adults aged 55–87 years. Several measures of visual memory, working memory, attention and reaction time were obtained using the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery at baseline and then after 3 and 6 months of 0 (placebo), 15 or 30 mg Zn/d. Younger adults (<70 years) performed significantly better on all tests than older adults (>70 years), and performance improved with practice on some measures. For two out of eight dependent variables, there were significant interactions indicating a beneficial effect (at 3 months only) of both 15 and 30 mg/d on one measure of spatial working memory and a detrimental effect of 15 mg/d on one measure of attention. Further work is required to establish whether these findings generalise to older adults in poorer mental and physical health and with less adequate Zn intake and status than the present sample.
Zn has been shown to possess antioxidant properties in vitro and in vitro. As inadequate dietary Zn intake has been reported in these populations, Zn supplementation may protect against oxidative stress and thereby limit the progression of degenerative diseases in such populations. We conducted the present study to evaluate the long-term supplementation effects of two moderate doses of Zn on in vitro Cu-induced LDL oxidation in French men and women.Three groups of sixteen healthy subjects aged 55–70 years from each sex participated in this randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Each group received for six months either 0, 15 or 30mg supplemental Zn per d. At the beginning and at the end of the supplementation periods, dietary intakes of Zn, Cu, Fe and vitamin E were estimated using 4d food-intake records (including the weekend) and the GENI program. Zn, Cu, Fe and vitamin E statuswere also determined. In vitro LDL oxidizability (basal conjugated diene level, maximal conjugated diene formation and lag time) and lipid parameters were also determined. Dietary intakes of Zn, Cu, Fe and vitamin E were adequate in this population. Zn supplementation significantly increased serum Zn levels but did not significantly modify Cu, Fe or vitamin E status. However, Zn supplementation had no effect on in vitro LDL oxidation parameters, nor were there any sex-related differences in in vitro LDL oxidizability. The present study showed that long-term Zn supplementation of healthy subjects aged 55–70 years had no effect on in vitro Cu-induced LDL oxidation under the study conditions.
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