Nutritional factors have been suggested to mediate, at least in part, the immune dysfunction and increased risk of infection common in older adults (1,2). A variety of nutrients directly and indirectly influence immune function and presumably infection risk (see Fig. 1 from ref. ). However, few nutritional interventions have as yet shown clear clinical benefits. This chapter examines the prevalence, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of malnutrition in elderly adults and summarizes the currently available data regarding the role of nutritional supplements in the prevention or treatment of infectious diseases in the elderly.
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