Vaccination is the easiest way to stimulate the immune system to confer protection from disease. However, the inefficacy of vaccination in the elderly, especially those under nutritional control such as individuals receiving artificial nutrition after cerebral infarction or during dementia, has led to the search for an adjuvant to augment the acquired immune response in this population. The cross-talk between the gut microbiota and the host immune system is gaining attention as a potential adjuvant for vaccines. Probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics, which are commonly used to modulate gut health, may enhance the immune response and the effectiveness of vaccination in the elderly. This review summarizes the use of these gut modulators as adjuvants to boost both the innate and acquired immune responses in the elderly under nutritional control. Although the clinical evidence on this topic is limited and the initial findings await clarification through future studies with large sample sizes and proper study designs, they highlight the necessity for additional research in this field, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately affecting the elderly.
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