A research has found that extra intake of vitamin E can regulate an aging immune system and protect the body from pneumonia causing bacteria. Rich sources of vitamin E include tomatoes, sunflower seeds, kiwis and mangoes among others. People, aged over 65, are at a high risk for developing pneumonia—an inflammation of the lungs typically caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.
The research was conducted on older mice. One group was fed extra amount of vitamin E, compared to the group of mice which was fed normal amounts of vitamin E. The mice fed extra vitamin E had 1,000 times fewer bacteria in their lungs and two times fewer the number of white blood cells.
The reduced number of bacteria and white blood cells resulted in less lung damage and the mice were also able to control the infection as efficiently as young mice. Whether vitamin E can help protect people against pneumonia affecting older adults requires more research.
The study appeared in The Journal of Immunology.