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January 8, 2003

Vitamin Supplementation in Elderly Persons

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(2):173. doi:10.1001/jama.289.2.173-a

To the Editor: Ms Graat and colleagues1 found that multivitamin supplements did not prevent acute respiratory tract infections in healthy elderly persons. The authors used a multivitamin and trace-element preparation that contained recommended daily allowances (RDAs) of vitamins but only 25% to 50% of the RDAs for minerals. The RDAs, however, are intended to prevent nutritional deficiency, and may be too low to produce further benefits.2,3 Other studies, using nutrients in amounts based on physiological dose-response curves and immune responses, have found beneficial effects.4,5

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