Micronutrient (Zn, Cu, Fe)-gene interactions in ageing and inflammatory age-related diseases: Implications for treatments

Eugenio Mocchegiani, Laura Costarelli, Robertina Giacconi, Francesco Piacenza, Andrea Basso, Marco Malavolta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In ageing, alterations in inflammatory/immune response and antioxidant capacity lead to increased susceptibility to diseases and loss of mobility and agility. Various essential micronutrients in the diet are involved in age-altered biological functions. Micronutrients (zinc, copper, iron) play a pivotal role either in maintaining and reinforcing the immune and antioxidant performances or in affecting the complex network of genes (. nutrigenomic approach) involved in encoding proteins for a correct inflammatory/immune response. By the other side, the genetic inter-individual variability may affect the absorption and uptake of the micronutrients (. nutrigenetic approach) with subsequent altered effects on inflammatory/immune response and antioxidant activity. Therefore, the individual micronutrient-gene interactions are fundamental to achieve healthy ageing. In this review, we report and discuss the role of micronutrients (Zn, Cu, Fe)-gene interactions in relation to the inflammatory status and the possibility of a supplement in the event of a micronutrient deficiency or chelation in presence of micronutrient overload in relation to specific polymorphisms of inflammatory proteins or proteins related of the delivery of the micronutriemts to various organs and tissues. In this last context, we report the protein-metal speciation analysis in order to have, coupled with micronutrient-gene interactions, a more complete picture of the individual need in micronutrient supplementation or chelation to achieve healthy ageing and longevity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-319
Number of pages23
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Ageing
  • Copper
  • Gene-interaction
  • Iron
  • Metal-speciation analysis
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


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