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Vitamin E could protect elderly from colds

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BOSTON, Sep 14, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Boston researchers have found vitamin E may protect the elderly against the common cold.

Simin Nikbin Meydani of Tufts University, in a study published in the August edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed 617 people 65 years of age or older and residing in one of 33 long-term care facilities.

Roughly half got a daily supplement containing 200 units of vitamin E; the rest got a placebo.

"Our study found that those taking the vitamin E supplement pills were 20 percent less likely to suffer from respiratory infections and that vitamin E supplementation reduced the incidence of common colds by about 22 percent," Meydani said.

"Older individuals are at greater risk for respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. "Colds occur more frequently and their symptoms are more severe and more debilitating among the elderly, and at present there is no vaccine or antiviral therapy available to fight them off."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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