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The role of micronutrients in healthy ageing

Carrie Ruxton (Nutrition Communications, Fife, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential role of micronutrients and omega‐3 fatty acids in promoting healthier ageing.


A literature review was conducted using Medline and key words relevant to ageing, nutritional status, nutrient intake and disease risk. Data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) were used to determine micronutrient adequacy.


The NDNS showed that intakes of vitamin A, B2, B6, folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iodine fell below recommended levels for groups of older people. Vitamins and mineral supplements may improve nutritional status, lower the risk of deficiency, and impact favourably on disease markers.

Practical implications

The evidence suggests that dietary interventions and supplementation may become increasingly important in maintaining health and quality of life in older people.


This paper highlights the positive role of nutrition in healthy ageing.



Ruxton, C. (2011), "The role of micronutrients in healthy ageing", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 420-429.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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