Why was this study done?

Taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement is commonly thought to help fill in nutritional gaps and prevent deficiency diseases, but what additional health benefits are associated with supplement use are less defined. This study was designed to help understand the association between multivitamin use and common infections (cold and flu).

What did the study find?

The study found a significant association between multivitamin/mineral use and reduced incidence of cold and flu (over the course of a year) in a group of elderly adults.

Effect of Long-Term Vitamin-Mineral Supplements on Immune Response in Older Healthy Adults.
Authors: Spiller G, Whittam J, Bruce B, Morse S, Chernoff M, Jensen C. J Am Coll Nutr, 1998. 17:511.
PDF Abstract: J Am Coll Nutr, 1998.