The Best Vitamin Supplements for the Elderly

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

As we age, the amount of nutrients the body absorbs decreases. And this could disrupt organ and system functions, resulting in diseases and disorders typically associated with aging. Apart from a well-balanced diet, it’s important for aging folks to take vitamin supplements just to ensure they don’t miss out on key nutrients. In today’s post, we are listing down some of the best vitamin supplements aging individuals must take.

Vitamin D

According to the Institute of Medicine, a person older than 70 years old should meet his daily-recommended allowance of 800 international units of vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps promote better bone health, cuts the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and even prevents certain types of cancer. Although vitamin Di is found in the food we eat—including fortified milk and yogurt—aging individuals should add supplements to meet their RDA of this vitamin to prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis. Apart from taking supplements and eating foods rich in vitamin D, we recommend getting some sunshine between 7 and 10 in the morning. The skin converts sunshine to vitamin D too.

Vitamin B12

The cells, brain, and spinal cord need vitamin B12. It’s an important vitamin that assists in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. When you’re low in vitamin B12, you feel lethargic and overly fatigued. Vitamin B12 also helps regulate the nervous system, improves digestive functions, and prevents certain types of cancers including colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancer.

Elderly adults have to take in 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day and it’s not enough to get this vitamin from the food we eat. This is because as we age, the body is unable to fully absorb vitamin B12 from food; that’s why supplementation is a must to meet the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 for the elderly.

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid helps strengthen the immune system and acts as an antioxidant thus protecting the body from certain cancers. Vitamin C is important especially for the elderly that live in polluted places or those with chronic health problems. This nutrient forms a protective layer against free radicals. Free radicals attack healthy cells, causing cell mutation. The daily recommended allowance of vitamin C for adult men is 90 milligrams and 75 milligram for adult women.

Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that promotes better bone health. Almost all the calcium in your body is found in your bones. If you lack this mineral, your bones will start to turn brittle and less dense. The elderly tend to suffer more from bone diseases. That is why it’s a must to take calcium supplements as well as eating foods rich in calcium like dairy products and certain types of vegetables. Vitamin D and calcium work hand in hand to assist in maximum absorption of the nutrients. So if you’re taking calcium supplements, you might want to take it with vitamin D supplements too.

Do note that taking calcium supplements could cause constipation. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich food to prevent constipation and bloating.


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