Effects of Dietary or Supplementary Micronutrients on Sex Hormones and IGF-1 in Middle and Older Age: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Observational research suggests that micronutrients may be protective for sarcopenia, a key health issue during ageing, potentially via effects on hormone synthesis and metabolism. We aimed to carry out a systematic review of RCTs investigating effects of increasing dietary or supplemental micronutrient intake on sex hormones and IGF-1 in individuals aged 45 years or older. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane databases for RCTs reporting the effects of different micronutrients (vitamins A, C, D, or E; carotenoids; iron; copper; zinc; magnesium; selenium; and potassium) on sex hormones or IGF-1. Of the 26 RCTs identified, nine examined effects of vitamin D, nine of multi-nutrients, four of carotenoids, two of selenium, one of zinc, and one of vitamin E. For IGF-1 increasing vitamin D (MD: -0.53 nmol/L, 95% CI: -1.58, 0.52), multi-nutrients (MD: 0.60 nmol/L, 95% CI 􀀀1.12 to 2.33) and carotenoids (MD -1.32 nmol/L; 95% CI -2.76 to 0.11) had no significant effect on circulating concentrations. No significant effects on sex hormones of other micronutrients were found, but data were very limited. All trials had significant methodological limitations making effects of micronutrient supplementation on sex hormones unclear. Further high quality RCTs with physiological doses of micronutrients in people with low baseline intakes or circulating concentrations, using robust methodology, are required to assess effects of supplementation adequately.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1457
Number of pages21
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020


    Research areas

  • micronutrients, sarcopenia, insulin-like growth factor 1, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trials

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