Vitamins And Minerals For Older Adults
Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins .
Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.
Like vitamins, minerals also help your body function. Minerals are elements that our bodies need to function that can be found on the earth and in foods. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts. As with vitamins, if you eat a varied diet, you will probably get enough of most minerals.
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How Is The % Dv For Vitamin C Calculated
The Daily Value used in nutrition labelling is based on 60 mg of vitamin C for a reference diet.
For example, if a food product has 20 mg of vitamin C, the product would have a % Daily Value for vitamin C of 33%. × 100 = 33%.
Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.
Possible Lowering Of High Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular disease is widespread today, and high blood pressure plays a big part.
According to some research, adequate vitamin C levels can lower blood pressure in folks with and without hypertension. The primary mechanism behind this effect appears to be vitamin Cs ability to relax blood vessels, allowing them to widen. As a result, blood flows more freely, and arterial pressure decreases.
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How To Buy Vitamins
Supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or USDA. So how do you know youre getting safe supplements?
Patton recommends doing the following before buying:
- Consult your doctor. Before adding any supplements, make sure you talk to your doctor to make sure you need them and that they wont interact with any medications.
- Look for third-party testing. Some companies will send their products to an outside company to verify that the ingredients are accurate.
- Look for the USP seal. The United States Pharmacopeia is an independent, nonprofit organization whose goal is to supply safe, quality products.
- Consider ingredients. Stick with the basics. Vitamins with added ingredients or claims arent necessary and can cause side effects.
So while supplements can be helpful, be mindful of your diet and what you eat. Dont use supplements to replace healthy eating, says Patton.
Should I Take A Vitamin C Supplement
If you are eating a balanced diet, most likely you do not need to take a vitamin C supplement, says McGowan. Vitamin C is water-soluble meaning the body utilizes it but doesnt store it. For most healthy individuals, the body can only hold and use about 200 to 250 mg of vitamin C a day, and any excess is lost through urine, explains McGowan.
Despite this, you can overconsume vitamin C. This is most likely to occur with supplement use, so make sure your daily intake falls below the tolerable upper limit , or the maximum daily intake thats unlikely to result in negative health effects. That amount for a 1- to 3-year-old child is 400 mg, while its 650 mg for a 4- to 8-year-old child, 1,200 for a 9- to 12-year-old child, and 1,800 mg for a 14- to 18-year-old teenager. The UL for an adult is 2,000 mg. Keep in mind that if you take a multivitamin, youre getting vitamin C there, too dont forget to add that amount to your total supplemental intake.
Whats The Recommended Intake
The Institute of Medicine has developed a set of reference values for specific nutrient intake levels, including for vitamin C.
One set of guidelines is known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance and considers average daily nutrient intake from both foods and supplements.
RDA recommendations for specific gender and age groups should meet the nutrient needs of 9798% of healthy individuals (
Here are the RDAs for vitamin C :
|Adult women||75 mg|
|Adult men||90 mg|
|Pregnant women||85 mg|
|Breastfeeding women||120 mg|
In addition to the RDA recommendations for vitamin C, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a recommended Daily Value .
The DV was developed for food and supplement labels. It helps you determine the percentage of nutrients in a single serving of food, compared with the daily requirements. On food labels, this is displayed as %DV .
Currently, the recommended DV for vitamin C for adults and children aged 4 and above is 60 mg regardless of gender. However, in January 2020, this will increase to 90 mg .
The RDA for Vitamin C ranges from 1575 mg for children, 75 mg for adult women, 90 mg for adult men, and 85120 mg for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vitamin C is essential for overall health and wellness, and the nutrient may particularly benefit certain conditions.
The vitamin is especially helpful for immune health, as it supports your immune systems cellular function .
Best Natural Ingredients For Your Skin
Vitamin C serums can be topically applied to the skin and may provide benefits such as protection against damage caused by UV exposure, including collagen damage and wrinkling. And while its no replacement for sunscreen, a vitamin C serum routinely applied before sun exposure may help prevent premature aging of the skin. It may also help protect against pigmentation issues by interfering with melanin synthesis. Youll see many options of vitamin C serums including ones with additional ingredients, such as vitamin E or hyaluronic acid.
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The Importance Of Vitamin C For Older Women And A Few Problem Signs
For the longest time, I used to associate vitamin C deficiency with scurvy. Maybe this was from watching too many pirate movies when I was younger or my interest in maritime history that came from growing up on an island. For whatever reason, whenever I heard about not getting enough vitamin C in my diet, I immediately conjured up visions of toothless pirates in the 18th Century.
Back then, sailors started their long voyages with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables which they had to eat before it spoiled. So, they often went for very long periods without having any fruits or vegetables. Their gums would swell and bleed, their teeth would fall out, their legs would swell and they were generally exhausted and in poor health. As you can imagine, I was terrified of not getting enough vitamin C and ending up liking fruits and most veggies.
Luckily, today, scurvy is relatively rare since most of us have access to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and vitamin C fortified foods in our local markets. But vitamin C deficiency that may not rise to the level of scurvy is still a problem especially for older women.
Too Much Vitamin C May Cause Digestive Symptoms
The most common side effect of high vitamin C intake is digestive distress.
In general, these side effects do not occur from eating foods that contain vitamin C, but rather from taking the vitamin in supplement form.
Youre most likely to experience digestive symptoms if you consume more than 2,000 mg at once. Thus, a tolerable upper limit of 2,000 mg per day has been established (
Ingesting more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day may lead to gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms like diarrhea and nausea.
Vitamin C is known to enhance iron absorption.
It can bind to non-heme iron, which is found in plant foods. Non-heme iron is not absorbed by your body as efficiently as heme iron, the type of iron found in animal products .
Vitamin C binds with non-heme iron, making it much easier for your body to absorb. This is an important function, especially for individuals who get most of their iron from plant-based foods .
One study in adults found that iron absorption increased by 67% when they took 100 mg of vitamin C with a meal .
However, individuals with conditions that increase the risk of iron accumulation in the body, such as hemochromatosis, should be cautious with vitamin C supplements.
Under these circumstances, taking vitamin C in excess may lead to iron overload, which can cause serious damage to your heart, liver, pancreas, thyroid, and central nervous system .
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What Do We Use Ourselves
We believe there is a reasonable burden of scientific evidence to suggest that on a short-term basis, taking large amounts of vitamin C might offer benefits which outweigh the potential risk of increased ROS generation.
Based on studies, that may range from 1,000 mg to 5,000 mg daily for a period of days or weeks. However its important to remember that using beyond the RDA has not been proven to offer any increased health benefit. It should not be used for the treatment of any disease. High amounts should be viewed as a dietary supplement only.
For long term usage, such as several consecutive months or 1+ years, taking too much vitamin C does not seem worth it when you weigh the risk for kidney stone formation and the still lingering unknown of how much excess ROS might be created from its Fenton reactions.
During pregnancy, to avoid any potential risk for vitamin C toxicity or adverse reactions, we would stay within the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels both on a short and long term basis. Thats 1,800 mg per day for women 14 to 18 years of age who are pregnant or breastfeeding and for ages 19+ thats 2,000 mg.
All of us at Superfoodly use numerous supplements but we do not take vitamin C capsules or tablets on a daily or even weekly basis. Rather, we rely on a plant-based whole food diet that is already a rich source, combined with an organic multivitamin that provides a more moderate among for long term usage 80 mg which equals 130% of daily value.
Intravenous Vitamin C Alone In Patients With Covid
A pilot clinical trial in China randomized 56 adults with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit to receive intravenous vitamin C 24 g per day or placebo for 7 days. The study was terminated early due to a reduction in the number of cases of COVID-19 in China. Overall, the study found no differences between the arms in mortality, the duration of mechanical ventilation, or the change in median sequential organ failure assessment scores. The study reported improvements in oxygenation from baseline to Day 7 in the treatment arm that were statistically greater than those observed in the placebo arm .4
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May Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
In the previous point, we discussed that vitamin C might normalize blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, resulting in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Aside from that, the vitamin might lower cardiovascular disease risk by reducing blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels. As such, it isnt a stretch to claim that vitamin C might play an essential role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A Vitamin C Smoothie Recipe For Immune Protection
While supplements for immunity can definitely help keep your health in fighting shape, you can also find alternative ways to amp up your intake of protective nutrients. One of the tastiest options among them is a vitamin-packed smoothie.
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Vitamin C Increases Gastric Motility
When given as a supplement at high doses, vitamin C has a laxative effect. This is because the vitamin increases gastric motility, which is to say that it speeds up the digestive process. Most people think of this as a negative side effect, and the vitamin is dosed to bowel tolerance a discreet way of saying you should reduce your dose if you develop diarrhea.
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How Much Vitamin C Should I Take
The daily needed amount of vitamin C is a bit flexible, depending on your situation but an ideal range is between 2,500-5,000mg per day for daily supplementation.
If you have been directly exposed to something or are feeling under the weather, upping your dose and taking 2,500mg every 4 hours is a great way to give your body some extra support!
This is the dosage in 1 serving of my Vitamin C Boost powderthe easiest and most delicious way to get your daily vitamin C needs met! Get it here > >
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What Does Vitamin C Do
Vitamin C has many roles when it comes to promoting health, such as:
- Acting as an antioxidant, helping protect against free radical damage and slowing the effects of aging.
- Counteracting the negative effects of sun damage, cigarette smoke, air pollution and other environmental stressors.
- Supporting the immune system to protect against illnesses.
- Helping form collagen and maintain connective tissue, including the skin, bones, joints and blood vessels.
- Supporting eye health/vision and potentially reducing the risk for cataracts.
- Helping reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disease.
- Facilitating absorption of iron.
Certain people can benefit from getting even higher amounts of vitamin C than the general population, including those who:
- smoke or around secondhand smoke
- people who eat a poor diet lacking vegetables and fruits
- those with medical conditions, such as severe malabsorption, cancer and kidney disease
Researchers shows that vitamin C deficiency symptoms most often affects those with severe malnourishment, drug and alcohol abusers, or those living in poverty.
Heart Disease And Cancer
Research suggests that vitamin C may help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Antioxidants like vitamin C do seem to reduce the oxidative stress associated with these diseases. This can happen when there are too many free radicals in your body.
A 2013 review found that vitamin C may help prevent stroke. This was mostly true for people who had low intake of vitamin C before treatment or were at high risk for stroke.
The review only found this benefit for vitamin C from food sources, not from supplements.
A 2013 review noted that high intake of vitamin C does seem to be associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. It also noted that intravenous vitamin C has been shown to improve outcomes for cancer patients.
Many experimental cancer therapies include using vitamin C along with other treatments, however. This makes it hard to know how much of an impact vitamin C has on its own.
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How Much Vitamin C Per Day Is Best
According to NIH, the recommended allowance of vitamin C ranges between 15mg and 75mg for children, 90mg for adult men and 75mg for adult women. Women who are pregnant or lactating should consume more up to 120mg per day. Smokers need an extra 35mg per day.
Image source: NIH fact sheet for professionals
Usually you can get enough vitamin C from a varied diet that includes lots of fruit and veg but you can also take a supplement. Most multivitamin supplements contain vitamin C, or alternatively you can take it on its own.
When you look at the label on the supplement, you may see the vitamin listed as ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, or sodium ascorbate. A supplement that contains ascorbic acid is a good choice, as this is a form of vitamin C that is easier for the body to absorb.
While serious vitamin C deficiency is now rare, certain health conditions make deficiency more likely. These include AIDS, cancer, and tuberculosis.
How Much Is Too Much
According to the dietary guidelines, the max amount of vitamin C that is safe to take each day is 1800 milligrams. Taking in more can cause stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea, which typically resolves quickly once the usage is discontinued. Some data suggests excessive intakes for long periods of time may be linked to kidney stones in people with existing kidney issues.
This may seem like an unattainable amount , but whether its a fizzy drink mix or chewable tablet, the average cold prevention supplement contains 1000 milligrams per serving. Many of these products recommend taking a dose multiple times a day, quickly exceeding the 1800 milligrams recommendation and this is before you eat any vitamin C rich foods. It is also important to point out many of these products also include other vitamins and minerals, some of which may carry their own separate risks for toxicity or interactions with medications, so check labels carefully so you know what you are taking.
Amount In Multivitamin Vs Recommendation
The majority of multivitamins on the market provide 60 milligrams of vitamin C per dose, notes Dr. Jane Higdon, a research associate with the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. This is less than the recommendation of 75 daily milligrams for adult women and 90 daily milligrams for adult men, which doesnt increase as you get older. So, women might need an extra 15 milligrams daily and men might require another 30 milligrams than what’s found in a multivitamin. Check the label.