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Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement Supports Immune Function in Older Adults
New research shows that healthy older adults who took a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement experienced sickness for shorter periods of time and had less severe symptoms compared to a placebo group. The study, conducted by scientists at Oregon State University over a 12-week period, also showed improvements in vitamin C and zinc status in participants who took a multivitamin, two nutrients essential for healthy immune function.
These outcomes are noteworthy because as we grow older, we experience both an increased risk of nutrient deficiencies and declining immune function. In fact, researchers noted that across the United States, Canada, and Europe more than a third of older adults are deficient in at least one micronutrient, and often more than one. This decline in nutrition status likely contributes to the decline in immune function because our immune systems depend on nutrients to function well.
Study authors noted that “since multiple nutrients support immune function, older adults often benefit from multivitamin and mineral supplements. These are readily available, inexpensive and generally regarded as safe.”
Black seed oil is well known for its immune supportive properties, and now a new study has found that it also improves cardiovascular health and blood sugar markers in diabetics. The study looked at the effects of 500 mg of black seed oil, given twice a day, in 23 diabetic subjects and compared its effects to 20 diabetic subjects who received a placebo. The study followed the diabetic subjects for eight weeks and found significant improvements in markers of blood sugar control, serum lipid levels, blood pressure, and weight.
Black seed oil contains many phytonutrients which have been shown in previous studies to inhibit glucose absorption in the intestinal tract, improve glucose tolerance, modulate the insulin response, and stimulate blood sugar uptake within muscle and fat cells. Black seed oil has also been shown to stimulate AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase), an enzymatic pathway known to regulate blood sugar production in the liver.
While previous studies have examined the cardiovascular benefits of black seed oil, this is one of the first clinical studies to measure its effects in human subjects with diabetes. The findings of this study further cement the fact that black seed oil has a wide range of benefits beyond immune health that also include cardiovascular health and blood sugar regulation.