Should Seniors Take Vitamins And Nutritional Supplements
In Canada, many people take vitamins and nutritional supplements to improve their overall health. For seniors, vitamins are becoming increasingly popular.
In 2015, according to Statistics Canada, 45.6% of Canadians used at least one nutritional supplement in their daily lives. This number accounts for over 15.7 million people! Seniors are the age group most likely to take multivitamins and nutritional supplements, especially women.
Almost two-thirds of women aged 71 and older use supplements, compared to 51% of men. The most common supplement product for all Canadians is multivitamins.
Best With Black Cohosh
Price: $Garden of Life is a popular supplement brand that can usually be found at your local grocery store. Garden of Life mykind Organics Women 40+ contains a variety of essential nutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B12, and D3, which may be lacking in the diets of women over 50.This multivitamin also contains black cohosh, an herb that has shown promise in decreasing certain symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, when taken as a supplement (Garden of Life is certified organic, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan.
So Why Are So Many Canadian Seniors Taking Multivitamins
Simple: because there is a large market, and many supplement companies promise things that are still unproven by science. Walk into any pharmacy and you will see vitamins and supplements directly marketed at the elderly.
In truth, seniors formula multivitamins and products that claim to be the best multivitamins for the elderly are actually just normal multivitamins with more vitamin D and B12.
Unless there is a serious lack of intake for certain vitamins, as determined by a doctor, older adults shouldnt need to take multivitamins. Minor changes in diet are generally enough to cover the dietary needs of the elderly.
Speaking to a doctor is the best way to determine if supplements are right for you and your loved one. While a prescription isnt needed for vitamins and multivitamins, its never a good idea to start taking them without first seeing a medical professional.
Read Also: What Vitamin Helps With Memory And Focus
B12 For Improved Energy
Though vitamin B12 is commonly taken to increase energy levels, evidence showing that B12 supplements improve energy levels in people without a deficiency is lacking.
However, B12 supplements have been found to improve energy levels in those who are deficient in this nutrient .
One review recommended that those with vitamin B12 deficiency take 1 mg of vitamin B12 daily for a month, followed by a maintenance dose of 125250 mcg per day .
People who have issues absorbing vitamin B12, such as those with Crohns disease or other gastrointestinal issues, may benefit from B12 injections, which bypass the need for absorption by the digestive tract .
Q: Should People Consider Vitamin D Supplements
A: If the level of vitamin D in your blood is less than 20 nanograms per milliliter, your doctor may recommend taking a supplement. Many women already take calcium and vitamin D supplements together for bone health because vitamin D can help in calcium absorption, and they work best when taken together. Ask your doctor if supplements are right for you.
You May Like: What Is Vitamin E Oil
Which Type Of Vitamin D Should I Take
Most supplements contain vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol. Studies suggest that this increases blood levels a little better than vitamin D2 .
Both these versions of vitamin D require processing by the liver and kidneys. People with liver or kidney disease may need to get a special type of supplement from their doctors.
Although Vitamin D supplements are usually taken daily, they also come in higher doses, which may be prescribed for weekly or even monthly dosing.
Q: Whats The Link Between Vitamin D And Heart Health
A: That isnt entirely clear. We know that low vitamin D levels are a risk factor for heart disease, but at this time, we do not know whether treating low vitamin D with supplements can prevent a heart attack. There are a number of large clinical trials studying this now. Part of the problem with finding the answer is accounting for the many factors involved in heart disease. For example, maybe people who develop heart disease are also getting less physical activity outdoors. It may not be low vitamin D levels causing the heart disease.
Will a Daily Vitamin Help Keep Your Heart Healthy?
Read Also: What Is The Best Vitamin C To Use
Why Should Seniors Take Vitamin Supplements
There are several reasons why older adults should take vitamins.
- An older body is less efficient at absorbing key nutrients from food.
- Certain healthy vitamin-rich foods can become difficult to chew or digest as we age.
- Our bones become more brittle as we age, and certain vitamin supplements can also give us a much-needed calcium boost.
- Older adults may not get as much sunlight exposure as they once did, which causes Vitamin D levels to wane.
- Medications, especially diuretics, can flush out nutrients before they can be properly absorbed by the body or block them from being absorbed at all.
- Age-related diseases and conditions can suppress the bodys ability to absorb nutrients, and some may even require a special diet that is low on certain vitamins and nutrients.
- Older adults may not cook as often as they once did, and ready-to-eat meals can rob you of essential vitamins and nutrients.
50 + One A Day Womens 50 + Multivitamin 6 Key 100
50 + One a day , 50 . , , , , .
: , , , , , , dl–, 2%: , -, , , , , , D-, 5 , FD & C 6, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
Also Check: What Vitamins Are Good For Acne Prone Skin
Be Aware Of Your Iron Intake
At the same time that our bodies begin to require an extra boost in the aforementioned supplements, we start to need less of other minerals, such as iron. Normally, womens daily multivitamins contain a high dosage of iron to make up for the amount lost each month during menstruation. However, as we reach menopause, its recommended that we lower our iron intake. That extra dose of iron is not only no longer needed, it can become potentially harmful when taken in supplemental form.
Nutritional Supplements Support A Healthy Lifestyle
Nutritional supplementation, along with certain herbal products, can be an integral part of your health regimen. However, to be truly healthy as you age, its important to maintain the traditional pillars of wellness: a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.
Whatever your age, it is important to pay attention your bodys needs as they evolve, and to understand the unique factors influencing your health. If you do decide to take supplements to help achieve your health goals, select those made from the highest quality ingredients possible.
Recommended Reading: What Should Be In Your Prenatal Vitamin
Daily Dose Of Vitamins For A 60 Year Old Woman
Good health in your 60s and beyond will ensure that your golden years live up to your expectations. The key to staying healthy is following a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods that supply your body with the vitamins it needs to function properly. Knowing your daily vitamin needs will help you determine what changes you need to make to your diet, if any, to keep your mind sharp and your body disease-free.
Turmeric As A Supplement
In the search for the best supplement that could possibly cure almost all of the disease connecting with ageing, there is one that seems to create miracle these days.
Root products are rich in vitamins and minerals, and they possess remarkable healing properties. There was great surprise at how Turmeric, a spice used in curry, can do so much more than being a condiment. The orangey-yellow hue in Turmeric is called curcumin found to be a potent inflammation blocker.
Due to its ability to block inflammation, curcumin could help stop disease-causing inflammation found in cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, and depression. Turmeric can also treat rheumatoid arthritis. Dr Greg Cole, associate director of UCLAs Mary S Easton, spent years studying curcumin as a treatment for brain diseases specifically Alzheimers disease and dementia. In his long time studying curcumin as a cure, he has observed that it reduces the build-up of this disease in the brain.
The fact that curcumin is not water soluble, large amount of it goes right through you. Precautions and warning should be taken especially for children and pregnant women.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Toxic Level Of Vitamin D For Dogs
Would I Benefit From Taking A Supplement
If you have specific health concerns, you’re taking any medicines, or you’re concerned you might have a deficiency, it’s best to consult your doctor before taking any supplements. If you’re simply looking to support your health, your pharmacist can advise you on which particular supplements might be suitable for you.
Women With Heavy Periods
Excessive blood loss from heavy periods can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. Women who regularly experience heavy periods may benefit from eating more iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements.
Anyone who has concerns about their periods or heavy menstrual bleeding should speak with a doctor.
Also Check: Which Vitamin Is Good For Immunity
Vitamins For Women Over 50
Contributed by Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
Getting older can be overwhelming, but it doesnt have to be if youre taking care of yourself. If you look at the nutritional requisites for women above 50 years of age, some nutrients have higher daily recommended intakes and some you may need a little less.
Caloric needs decrease as we get older due in part, to gradual muscle tissue loss. Muscle burns more calories than fat. Less physical activity further reduces your caloric needs.
While calorie requirements decrease, suggested intakes for certain vitamins and minerals also change. Here are the important nutrients women can get from food, multivitamins, and other dietary supplements when necessary, to feel their best.
Herbal Supplements And Older Adults
Herbal supplements are dietary supplements that come from plants. These types of supplements are taken by mouth, whether its by a capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid.
A few that you may have heard of are ginkgo biloba, ginseng, echinacea, and black cohosh. Researchers are looking at using herbal supplements to prevent or treat some health problems, but its too early to know if these are both safe and useful. Previous studies of certain herbal supplements have not shown any benefits.
Its important to know that just because a supplement is natural, or comes from plants, that doesnt necessarily mean its safe.
Recommended Reading: Where Can You Buy Usana Vitamins
Centrum Silver Womens 50+ Multivitamin
Centrum Silver has been around for decades and is likely the best-known brand of multis for older individuals. Their Womens 50+ is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and D. It also provides plenty of B12 for mind and immune system support, and doesnt forget the calcium and magnesium.
What we like: Theres plenty of vitamin D for bone health and antioxidant vitamins to combat free radicals. Also, none of the vitamins or minerals here come from genetically modified organisms.
Flaws: Once again, the most common complaint is that theyre too big for their target demographic to swallow easily.
Vitamin D: The Healthy Aging Dose
Confused by all the back and forth in the media about vitamin D?
Dont be. Theres actually a pretty easy and straightforward approach that most older adults can take.
In this post, Ill explain what I recommend to most of my older patients, and why.
Ill also address the following frequently asked questions:
- Which type of Vitamin D should I take?
- Do I need to have my vitamin D blood level checked?
- What should ones vitamin D level be?
- Will vitamin D really prevent falls or fractures?
- Will vitamin D prevent dementia, cancer, and/or premature death?
- I am outside a lot. Do I need a vitamin D supplement?
- I heard that a higher level of vitamin D is better for you. How much is too much?
By the way, Im updating this post in part because I was disappointed by the recent NY Times article Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D?
Among other things, this article should have had a different headline. The key problem the article describes is that there are too many people being tested for vitamin D. The article does not make the case that too many people are taking vitamin D supplements.
In fact, vitamin D supplementation remains recommended by experts. And as Ill explain below, there are good reasons to believe that vitamin D supplementation is especially useful for older adults.
Now, I do agree with the article in that many people seem to have unrealistic expectations of what vitamin D can do for them.
Also Check: What Vitamins Are Good For Joints And Bones
Natures Way Alive Womens 50+ Multivitamin
Natures Way snags a spot on our list with their Alive! Womens 50+ Multivitamin. There are a lot of things to like about this multi, including the digestive enzymes. Theres also cranberry extract that promotes urinary tract health.
What we like: We like the impressive array of vitamins and complementary minerals provided. We appreciate that they offer a wide variety of plant materials and digestive enzymes. Its great that they provide nutrients through a whole foods-based formula that provides more than just vitamins and minerals, like enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Its also a plus that you get what you need in a single daily tablet.
Flaws: Calcium is low at 15% and each tablet does contain some additives. The pill is also large. You might have to cut it in half to get it down.
Recommended Sodium Intake For Older Adults
Sodium is another important mineral. In most Americans diets, sodium primarily comes from salt . Whenever you add salt to your food, you’re adding sodium. But the Dietary Guidelines shows that most of the sodium we eat doesnt come from our saltshakers its added to many foods during processing or preparation. We all need some sodium, but too much over time can lead to high blood pressure, which can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
How much sodium is okay? People 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about one teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful. Preparing your own meals at home without using a lot of processed foods or salt will allow you to control how much sodium you get. Try using less salt when cooking, and dont add salt before you take the first bite. If you make this change slowly, you will get used to the difference in taste. Also look for grocery products marked low sodium, unsalted, no salt added, sodium free, or salt free. Also check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much sodium is in a serving.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Most Bioavailable Form Of Vitamin C
One A Day Womens 50+ Healthy Advantage
One-a-Day Womens 50+ skips on the probiotics but goes all-in on the vitamins and minerals essential to an older womans health. In fact, 100% of 15 nutrients are provided, including plenty of B vitamins to promote immune system health and cognitive function, and 1000mg of vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption and help strengthen bones.
What we like: This supplement emphasizes strengthening bones and keeping you mentally sharp. It also bolsters eye and skin health and strengthens the immune system. And its free of common allergens, contains no iron, and provides moderate doses of nutrients without going too high.
Flaws: If you have a sensitive stomach and take them without food, they may cause a bit of indigestion. Fillers and binders are present and many of the nutrients appear to be in synthetic form though most do not specify active form.
Magnesium Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day
Magnesium is a mineral that you need to stay healthy.
Its crucial for many functions in your body, including energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It also contributes to proper brain function, bone health, and heart and muscle activity (
Supplementing with this vital nutrient has been linked to many benefits, including constipation relief and improved blood sugar regulation and sleep.
This article reviews different types of magnesium supplements and how to determine the best daily dosage for your needs.
Magnesium is essential for maintaining proper health.
However, low magnesium intake is relatively common.
Its primarily found in people who follow a typical Western diet, which contains processed foods and refined grains and can lack foods like leafy green vegetables and legumes, which provide magnesium and other important nutrients .
The table below shows the recommended daily allowance or adequate intake of magnesium for adults, infants, and children (
|Birth to 6 months||30 mg|
|420 mg||320 mg|
Certain diseases and conditions are associated with magnesium deficiency, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and alcoholism .
Taking a magnesium supplement may help increase magnesium levels in those who have a higher risk of deficiency or dont consume enough through their diet.
The recommended daily allowance for magnesium for adults is 310420 mg depending on age and gender.
You May Like: What Foods Are High In Zinc And Vitamin C