Lower levels of dietary vitamins, antioxidants associated with frailty among older adults
Lower levels of specific dietary vitamins and antioxidants are linked to frailty among older adults, suggests a study.
The study published in the journal of the American Medical Directors Association examined the association of vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, lutein, and zeaxanthin levels with frailty.
“Frailty occurs when a number of systems in the body lose reserve capacity and therefore the ability to ‘bounce back’ after even trivial illnesses. It is an important and challenging state; commonly associated with ageing but also common in patients of any age who have major surgery, cancer treatments and severe infections,” said Rose-Anne Kenny, the study’s principal investigator.
“The hallmark of frailty is muscle weakness. If it is recognised in its early stages, it can be reversed. However, the longer it is present, the more difficult is it to ‘bounce back’ and generalised weakness and fatigue become progressively worse. This research suggests new potential treatments for a common and important condition,” Kenny added.
The B vitamins (B12 and folate) are important for several cellular processes throughout the body including DNA repair and energy metabolism. Vitamin D is essential for bone metabolism, muscle strength, and mood.
In the study lower levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin D were consistently associated with not only frailty but also earlier stages of ‘pre-frailty’ (a subclinical precursor of frailty).
“Our data suggest that low micronutrient status may act as an easily modified marker and intervention target for frailty among adults aged 50 years and over,” said Aisling O’Halloran, study’s lead author.
Low levels of B vitamins were associated with pre-frailty. Furthermore, the accumulation of micronutrient insufficiencies -- having low levels of more than one micronutrient -- was progressively associated with severity stages of frailty.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)