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Micronutrients: their roles in health and diseases in older people 

Micronutrients: their roles in health and diseases in older people
Chapter:
Micronutrients: their roles in health and diseases in older people
Author(s):

Cédric Annweiler

and Olivier Beauchet

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0062
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date: 23 October 2019

Micronutrients are nutrients required by organism throughout life in small quantities to orchestrate a range of physiological functions. They are composed by vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Micronutrient deficiencies are common in older adults, even in highly developed industrial nations. They result from insufficient supply and/or increase in micronutrient requirements. Micronutrient deficiencies can accelerate the physiological ageing process and aggravate the decline of cell renewal processes, immune defence, eyesight and hearing, and cognition. It is thus crucial to ensure that older adults receive an optimal supply of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. We reviewed here the needs, main effects, and current research directions of the micronutrients of interest among older adults. There is a constantly growing certainty that improving the micronutrient supply to older adults, whether via nutrient-dense culturally appropriate diets or via multivitamin-mineral supplements, may be helpful to prevent or at least contain diseases observed with ageing.

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