Their immune markers are higher, and they have more white blood cells that kill invading viruses. They also have higher levels of vitamin C and zinc in their blood, say researchers from Oregon State University.
The researchers gave supplements to a group of 42 healthy people aged from 55 to 75, and discovered that, in addition to immune system improvements, they had fewer days of sickness, their symptoms were less severe and their recovery time was faster.
The differences between those taking supplements compared to those not taking any nutrients was "striking", said lead researcher Adrian Gombart.
The need for supplements becomes greater as we get older, and around a third of older adults in the US are deficient in at least one micronutrient.
This deficiency leads to a decline in the healthy functioning of the immune system, which is often accompanied by higher inflammation and reduced T-cell function, he added.
For the study, the participants were given 700 mg vitamin A, 400 IUs vitamin D, 45 milligrams vitamin E, 6.6 milligrams vitamin B6, 400 mg folate, 9.6 mg vitamin B12, 1000 milligrams vitamin C, 5 milligrams iron, 0.9 milligrams copper, 10 milligrams zinc and 110 mg selenium.
Read all about it - but only in WDDTY
From now on, you won't be able to buy WDDTY in a store, as we are reverting to a subscription-only magazine. The reason goes to the very heart of what this publication stands for. As a newsstand title, we were being censored in all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle ways by a retail trade that chose never to support press freedoms. But we don't want to stop you from getting vital information which is why we've curated this special subscription offer just for you. By subscribing you can still get direct access to all this information every month, via a subscription, as thousands of others do.