Relationship between megadose vitamin supplementation and immunological function in a healthy elderly population

J. S. Goodwin, P. J. Garry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


We studied the immunological effects of 'megadose' vitamin or mineral supplementation by comparing the immunological functions of healthy elderly subjects taking large amounts of specific nutrients to similar subjects not on supplements. There was a non-significant trend for those subjects taking megadoses of vitamin C to have increased cell-mediated immune responses as measured in vivo by skin test reactivity but not by in vitro mitogen responses. In addition, subjects taking megadoses of vitamin E or any of several B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, folate and niacin) had lower absolute circulating lymphocyte counts than did the rest of the population. The relative lack of effect of megadose vitamins on immunological function in this population compared to reports of short term trials of mega nutrients raises the possibility that some of the previously reported immuno-enhancing properties of megadose vitamins may be due to a nonspecific adjuvant effect that disappears with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-653
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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