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Mineral Needs Of The Elderly: Developing A Research Agenda For The 1990s

R. Wood
Published 2006 · Medicine

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Increasing attention is being paid to the relationship between nutrition and health, particularly in regard to the possible linkage between nutrition and the development of chronic disease. The elderly are likely to suffer from one or more chronic diseases. The impact of these diseases on mineral status of the elderly population is poorly understood. In addition, little information is available about the mineral requirements of this population. The focus of this paper is to review the reasons why the elderly population is at increased risk of developing mineral deficiencies, our current understanding of the mineral requirements of this vulnerable group, and a consideration of recommendations for future research needs in this area. For illustrative purposes, special attention has been given to three selected mineral nutrients: phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Research priorities include studies to: improve methods for assessing mineral status; investigate the relation of habitual mineral intake and status; assess the impact of dietary change on mineral bioavailability in the elderly; determine the effect of hypochlorhydria on intestinal mineral absorption; and assess the effects of aging on the adaptive response to low mineral intakes. Studies such as these will help to provide a stronger research data base for estimating Recommended Dietary Allowances for these mineral nutrients in the elderly.
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