Author(s): Meydani SN, Wu D, Santos MS, Hayek MG
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Abstract The oxidant-antioxidant balance is an important determinant of immune cell function, including maintaining the integrity and functionality of membrane lipids, cellular proteins, and nucleic acids and controlling signal transduction and gene expression in immune cells. Optimal amounts of antioxidants are needed for maintenance of the immune response across all age groups. This need might be more critical, however, in aged persons. Age-associated dysregulation of immune response, particularly of T cell-mediated function, is well documented. The well-known age-related increase in free radical formation and lipid peroxidation contributes, at least in part, to this phenomenon. We summarize animal and human studies undertaken by ourselves as well as other investigators on the effects of antioxidants, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and glutathione on the immune response of aged persons. The underlying mechanisms for the antioxidant nutrients' effects as well as their health implications for aged persons are discussed.
This article was published in Am J Clin Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy