The Healthy Ageing Academy
Welcome on this European webplatform, where you can find information and advices for the elderly and their family, but also for Health Professionals or anyone who want to acquire knowledge in the field of ageing.
Malnutrition is a well-known risk factor for infectious diseases, due both to a deficiency in macro- and/or micronutrients. Moreover, malnutrition hampers healing processes – for example (infected) pressure ulcers
Low-grade inflammation also accompanies age-related syndromes,, such as sarcopenia and frailty, both showing a close correlation to the nutritional state (the main problem being protein-energy malnutrition).
Additionally, food components interfere with the immune state of both healthy and sick older adults. Immnuonutrition is therefore a fast evolving field. The attempt is to boost the immune response in older adults prone to show a diminished antibody response to vaccination such as influenza and pneumococcus.
Nutritional intervention has been promoted as a promising approach to delaying/reversing immunosenescence. Current evidence suggests that some specific diet components are essential in many cellular processes especially in the normal performance and functioning of the immune system. This is the case for example of the micronutrient Zinc or the Vitamins D and E. They can play a major role in influencing the immune system responsiveness to infection and vaccines and ultimately reduce the incidence and severity of infection in older adults. Vitamin D status, for instance, was inversely associated with risk of CAP and sepsis hospitalization in a community-living adult population. Zinc supplementation has proven to be beneficial in decreasing the incidence of infections in the elderly population.
The aim of ALOHA is to address this concerned for integrating the role of micronutrient in the prevention of infectious disease in seniors as part of a healthy ageing strategy in Europe.
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