Zinc helps lower incidence of pneumonia in residents

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Providing zinc supplements may help reduce the incidence of pneumonia and associated deaths, according to researchers.

Nursing home residents who were found to have normal zinc levels had lower rates of pneumonia and decreased duration of pneumonia, a new study shows. Investigators studied residents from 33 nursing homes in Boston who were given daily doses of 50% of the recommended dietary allowance of essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc.

Elderly nursing home residents with normal zinc concentrations also experienced fewer days of antibiotic use than residents with low serum zinc concentrations, the study found. The study was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.