Dietary Intake of Antioxidants in the Elderly People under Nursing Care: A Case–Control Study

Hossein Faraji, Sanaz Jamshidi, Gholamreza Askari


Background: Nutrient deficiency such as antioxidants is a common problem in the elderly; it
can result in different diseases such as cancer. Accordingly, assessment of the dietary intake of
antioxidants is necessary to design a specific plan for solving this problem.

Methods: This case–
control study was conducted on 152 old people (≥60 years) with and without nursing care in
nursing care centers in Isfahan, Iran, in 2017. Nutritional assessment was performed by an expert
nutritionist using semi‑quantitative validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. Nutrition IV software
was used as food analyzer. Analysis of covariance and independent t‑test were used for data analysis.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 68.6 ± 4.9 and 68.9 ± 6.1 years in case and control
groups, respectively, and the percentage of male/females in these groups was 46.3%/53.7% and
51.4%/48.6%, respectively. Dietary intake of energy, vitamin E, and selenium was significantly
higher (P = 0.041; 0.007; 0.017) while beta‑carotene intake was significantly lower in the elderly
under nursing care than in the control (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The findings indicated that nursing
care leads to improved intake of energy, vitamin E, and selenium, while diminished beta‑carotene
intake in the elderly. Intake of vitamin E, A, C, zinc, and selenium was high among elderly people
with and without care, compared with the dietary reference intake. It seems that further studies are
required to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Antioxidants, diet, elderly, energy intake, Iran

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