Are Supplements Important to Take as I Age?

Vitamin Supplements
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Certain supplements may benefit you as you age.

Vitamins and minerals are important for the healthy functioning of human bodies.

Sometimes our bodies get sufficient amounts through the foods we eat.

Other times, supplements are helpful in making up for deficiencies.

According to a recent AARP article titled “The 3 Supplements You Might Actually Need After 50,” some vitamins and minerals are especially important for aging individuals.

When these are lacking, supplements can be helpful.

Consider asking your doctor if you should take these supplements.

Vitamin supplements can help your health as you age.
Vitamin deficiencies can be countered by taking the proper supplements.

Calcium.

Calcium is absorbed less efficiently in older adults.

This leaves seniors at risk of falls and bone fractures.

Calcium is naturally found in leafy greens and in dairy.

Unfortunately, if you do not consume the proper amount to replenish your levels, your body with leach calcium from your bones.

How much calcium should you have if over age 50?

According to the National Institute of Health, women age 51 and older should have 1,200 milligrams (mg).

Men age 51 to 70 should have 1,000 mg calcium per day.

Men age 71 and older should have 1,200 mg calcium per day.

If you cannot get these amounts through foods, you may need to take calcium.

To protect against broken bones and falls, you should also add weight bearing exercises to your routine.

Vitamin D.

To bolster your absorption of Calcium into your body, your body need Vitamin D.

In addition to this, Vitamin D also supports your immune system, your nervous system, your bone health, and possibly your heart.

Obesity and minimal exposure to sunlight are connected to Vitamin D deficiencies.

Adults 19 to 70 years old should have 15 micrograms (mcg) or 600 international units (IU) per day.

Those age 71 and older should have 20 mcg or 800 IU per day.

When you take a Vitamin D supplement, you should do so with a fat-containing food.

If you are not sure whether you should get Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3 supplements, talk to your doctor.

Vitamin B12.

This vitamin helps with regulating nerve, genetic, and blood health.

If you take anti-diabetic drugs or medications for digestion problems or have a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you have a higher risk of deficiency.

Those with celiac or Crohn’s also find themselves at risk.

Without enough Vitamin B12, you could develop anemia, neuropathy, nerve damage, depression, balance issues, confusion, dementia, or poor memory.

Adults should have about 2.4 mcg per day of Vitamin B12.

You can eat meat, fish, eggs, poultry, milk, clams, beef liver, and certain fortified cereals to consume this vitamin.

You can also either take an individual supplements or a multivitamin.

Some supplements are more common in diets and can lead to side effects from excessive consumption.

What are they?

Vitamin E.

Few people are deficient.

Only 15 mg is recommended for adults.

From food sources, side effects are uncommon.

By taking supplements, you could trigger a dangerous reaction.

Vitamin C.

This vitamin is has not been scientifically linked to prevention of the common cold.

Common side effects of too much Vitamin C include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Eating fruits and vegetables is preferable to taking supplements.

Folic Acid.

This is found in many fortified foods.

As a result, deficiency outside of pregnancy is rare.

Before you purchase any supplements, it is wise to get tested by a doctor and discuss your options.

Reference: AARP (July 21, 2021) “The 3 Supplements You Might Actually Need After 50”

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