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Immunity boost?

Eating more fruits and vegetables may boost immunity in older people.

Researchers in Northern Ireland randomly assigned 83 healthy volunteers aged 65 to 85 to eat either their normal diets or to make sure that their diets included at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. (All participants reported eating no more than two servings a day before the study began.)

After 16 weeks, the fruit-and-vegetable group had a better immune response to a pneumonia vaccine (but not to a tetanus vaccine) than the people who didn't step up their produce intake.

What to do: Eat more fruits and vegetables. This study doesn't prove that they'll strengthen your immune system if you're under 65 or if you're already eating more than two servings a day. What's more, the study wasn't double blind, so it's possible that the people assigned to eat more fruits and vegetables did something else to boost their immune response.

And keep in mind: other studies show that eating about a dozen (small) servings of fruits and vegetables every day can lower blood pressure.

Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 96:1429, 2012.

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Title Annotation:fruits and vegetables may increase immunity in older people; QUICK STUDIES
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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