by Joseph Patrick Jakubal
Dutch researchers have recently concluded that adequate exercise plays a major role in providing
a strong immunity system for "seasoned citizens". In fact, exercise was
determined to be more important than "nutrient enriched" foods, according to a 17
week study conducted at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Elegible participants ... more than 200 frail, "seasoned citizens" with an average age
of 79+, took part in the study. Each person had to require supplemental care ... live
independently ... not be taking any supplemental nourishment, and ... not be exercising
Two groups were formed, one received the increased nutrition that seniors typically lack via fruits
and enriched dairy products. The second group took part in a supervised exercise program,
conducted twice a week with "routines" consisting of 45 minutes of progressive
mobility-enhancing movements and stretches (including warm-ups and cool-downs).
Those in the "enriched food" group were enrolled in a social program with a "creative
therapist" to nulify positive benefits gained by the social interaction of the second group.
Skin testing was used to measure immune responses in both groups and the results showed that
only the "exercising group" displayed measurable increases.
The amount of improved immunity response did not increase dramatically and it is possible that
more time was required by the "enriched food" group to realize benefits. For more
information on the study ... see the January issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and
Exercise, the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.