Good nutrition is important for everyone, regardless of age. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is the number one way people can obtain the nutrients necessary for their health. However, as we grow older, there are some key differences in how the body works and this may affect one's ability to meet their dietary needs. This is where supplements come in. With age, it is common for the appetite to diminish and some people may notice that they are eating less than before. This can lead to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. While improving one's diet would be the first recommended course of action, it's not always easy, especially with such a small appetite. Plus, the body can only produce a certain amount of it's own vitamins naturally. Due to this, it can be a good idea to begin taking supplements designed to balance nutrition. As always, people should consult with their doctors before beginning to take any new vitamins to make sure that it is the right choice for them. In the next section, we will cover five of the most frequently asked questions about vitamins and supplements for seniors.
The Important Questions
Q: Why should seniors consider taking supplements?
A: Beside having a lower appetite than younger people, there are additional reasons that seniors may want to consider taking nutritional supplements. As the body ages, its ability to fully absorb nutrients from food may decline. Also, there is a greater risk of developing age-related health issues or diseases that nutritional supplementation can help to combat. To maintain optimal health, seniors should take steps to address these concerns.
Q: Which vitamins do seniors most commonly need to take?
A: While this may vary by individual, there are certain vitamins that tend to be necessary for most. Calcium and Vitamin D are two of the most common. Doctors often recommend that seniors take one or both of these in supplement form. In addition, vitamin B and minerals such as iron and potassium are important for health and it is not uncommon for the elderly to require supplementation to achieve or maintain optimal levels of these nutrients.
Q: Why are Calcium and Vitamin D so important?
A: Both Vitamin D and Calcium are important for bone health, and as a person ages there is greater risk for the bones to weaken. Seniors, in particular, are more prone to developing osteoporosis, and adequate intake of calcium and vitamin d can aid in prevention. Vitamin D is normally produced in response to sun exposure, but a lot of senior citizens tend to spend less time outdoors than they did in their younger years, making it all the more important that they obtain this vitamin from diet and supplements.
Q: Can't seniors just take a multivitamin to meet their nutritional needs?
A: While taking a multivitamin is a good first step, sometimes it's not possible to obtain everything your body needs from only taking one pill. The best thing seniors can do is to consult with a physician to determine if a multivitamin is appropriate or if they will need to take any other supplements. Doctors can conduct simple tests to see if a person is deficient in any vitamins and recommend solutions to address the problem.
Q: Are vitamins right for everyone?
A: While every human being needs vitamins and minerals for their health, there are some exceptions when it comes to supplementation. Sometimes, taking a supplement may not be appropriate. For example, if someone is taking certain prescription medications, it is possible that some vitamin and mineral supplements could interfere with their current medicine. Again, this is why it's always essential to talk with your doctor before introducing any new vitamins or supplements into your daily regimen.
Hopefully this article has helped to answer your questions on the importance of vitamins and minerals for seniors. Always remember to maintain a healthy diet in addition to taking supplements.
The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.