Document Detail

Nutritional supplements for older adults: review and recommendations--Part II.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20391042     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The use of nutritional supplements (NS) with the intention of improving health and delaying age-related chronic disease is a common practice among older adults; however, randomized controlled trials have yielded mixed results regarding the likelihood that these NS provide true health benefits. We reviewed the findings of these studies regarding the effects of NS of folic acid, vitamin B(12), vitamin B(6), and omega-3 fatty acids on health outcomes in older adults. Our conclusions include the following: Supplements of the B vitamins folate, B(12) and B(6) have been studied with regards to primary and secondary prevention of a number of major age-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, cognitive decline, and cancer. While there are some encouraging findings with regards to stroke, depression, and macular degeneration (although in only one study in the latter case), there is little evidence of benefit of B vitamin NS for delaying CVD or age-related cognitive changes. In the few cancer-related studies, the evidence of benefit is coupled with concerns about enhancing the growth of existing undiagnosed cancers. In contrast, clear health benefits have been shown with modest increases in consumption of fatty fish or fish oil supplements, including a reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death. In addition, there is evidence that high dose fish oil supplements may lower serum triglyceride levels.
Gwendolen Buhr; Connie W Bales
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of nutrition for the elderly     Volume:  29     ISSN:  1540-8566     ISO Abbreviation:  J Nutr Elder     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-14     Completed Date:  2010-07-29     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8208739     Medline TA:  J Nutr Elder     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  42-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
Chronic Disease
Depression / drug therapy
Dietary Supplements*
Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
Macular Degeneration / drug therapy
Neoplasms / prevention & control
Triglycerides / blood
Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Omega-3; 0/Triglycerides; 12001-76-2/Vitamin B Complex

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