Supplements You Should Consider As You Age

Supplements You Should Consider As You Age

Optimal nutrition is one of the most important determinants of healthier aging, reducing the risk of disability, maintaining mental and physical functions, and thus preserving and ensuring a better quality of life. Dietary intake and nutrient absorption naturally decline with age, thus increasing the risk of malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.

Specific nutrients might have the potential of preventing and reducing co-morbidities in older adults. But what are the most common conditions an older adult or a senior could face given the inevitable effects of aging? Let’s look at the rundown of the list of these common conditions as well as the appropriate supplement for the deficiency.

Vitamins and Supplements

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disorder that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over, coughing, or sneezing, can cause a fracture. The main cause of osteoporosis is bone loss due to a drop in your body’s estrogen levels.

Estrogen is a hormone that helps build and maintain your bones. The most common cause of estrogen loss in women is menopause. Being underweight also increases the chance of bone loss and fractures. Excess weight is now known to increase the risk of fractures in your arms and wrists. As such, maintaining appropriate body weight is good for your bones, just as it is for health in general.

Recommended Supplement: Calcium

Calcium is needed for your heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. A calcium deficiency significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.

Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70. Although a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium (salt) in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those with a low calcium intake.

If you have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you obtain from food sources.

Kirkland Calcium Tablets

Arthritis

The word arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling, and stiffness in a joint or joints. Arthritis can affect people of all ages – even children and teenagers but some forms of arthritis are more common in older people. Although there’s no cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years and, for many types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory arthritis, there’s a clear benefit in starting treatment at an early stage.

Recommended Supplement: Vitamin D

Reduced vitamin D intake has been linked to increased susceptibility to the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with disease activity in patients with RA.

Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, you can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

You can absorb vitamin D in three ways:

  • Sunlight
  • Diet
  • Supplements

Experts recommend a daily intake of 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D up to age 70. Men and women over age 70 should increase their uptake to 800 IU daily. This can be obtained via supplements or vitamin D-rich foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 4,000 IU per day for adults. However, sometimes doctors prescribe higher doses for people with deficiencies.

Vitamin d

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can occur as a result of malnutrition, for which there are many causes. This includes poor nutrition caused by an unbalanced diet and/or alcoholism. Additionally, a clear link has been established between a lack of vitamin B12 and peripheral neuropathy.

Recommended Supplement: Vitamin B12

A lack of B12 damages the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerves. Without this protection, nerves cease to function properly and conditions such as peripheral neuropathy occur. Even a B12 deficiency that is relatively mild may affect the nervous system and the proper functioning of the brain.

Supplementation for a vitamin B12 deficiency may be provided via injection, as poor oral absorption is usually the cause of the disease. Supplementation with vitamin B12 typically halts the progression of the disease but does not reverse it since much of the disability is secondary to the spinal cord pathology.

Jamieson brand vitamin B12

Muscle Spasms & Tremors

Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions that occur in various muscles. These contractions are often painful and can affect different muscle groups. Commonly affected muscles include those in your calves, hamstrings, and quads. Muscle cramps have several causes, including overuse of your muscles. This typically occurs while you’re exercising. Muscle injuries and dehydration can also trigger cramps. Dehydration is the excessive loss of fluids in the body. Low levels of any of the following mineral can inhibit healthy muscle function and may also cause muscle cramps

Recommended Supplement: Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral found in the earth’s crust and in your body. It’s needed for healthy bones, heart, muscles, and nerves. It helps your body control energy, blood sugar, blood pressure, and many other processes. Since magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction, it has been hypothesized that a magnesium deficiency may predispose you to muscle cramps. Thus, magnesium supplements are often recommended to prevent cramps.

High Absorption Magnesium

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Older people have a much lower number of friendly bacteria in their intestines than younger adults. Elderly people also have more harmful bacteria in their intestines than younger adults, which makes them much more prone to gastrointestinal infections and bowel conditions, one of which is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Recommended Supplement: Probiotics

Everyone has different kinds of bacteria throughout their gut. There are good kinds of bacteria, which help with digestion and aid the body in fighting off infection. There are also bad bacteria, which trigger conditions such as diarrhea and cramping. When your bacteria levels are thrown off balance through stress, age, poor nutrition, and chronic illness, this can result in negative health issues that can seriously affect a person’s quality of life.

Probiotics have healthy live strains of bacteria that can restore balance in the gut. When people ingest enough of the live bacteria, this can greatly benefit the body. Probiotics may be one of the best supplements on the market to address the health and wellness of an elderly person’s digestive issues. Many people, old and young, have benefited from the use of probiotics.

Nordic Flora brand probiotics pills

Cardiovascular Disease

Lifestyle interventions such as consistent aerobic exercise and a diet high in fruits and vegetables promote cardiovascular health. A heart-healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack. Although it may seem intuitive that dietary fat is bad for the heart and that it must be avoided, certain unsaturated fats are actually heart-healthy. These heart-healthy unsaturated fats are known as omega-3 fatty acids.

Recommended Supplement: Omega 3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the “good” types of fat. They may help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. Your body can’t make them, so you have to consume them through your diet or take supplements.

Omega-3s are good for your heart and blood vessels in several ways.

  • They reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood.
  • They reduce the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).
  • They slow the buildup of plaque, a substance comprised of fat, cholesterol, and calcium, which hardens and blocks your arteries.
  • They help to slightly lower your blood pressure.

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Anemia

Anemia is a condition characterized by a lack of the healthy red blood cells needed to carry adequate oxygen supply to your body’s tissues. Having anemia can make you feel tired and weak. Anemia can be temporary or long-term, and it can range from mild to severe. Treating severe anemia takes more than just diet and lifestyle changes, although eating a healthy diet with lots of iron can help keep you healthy.

Recommended Supplement: Iron

Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Every person needs iron throughout their life. One of the most important functions of iron is the transportation of oxygen to the blood. Iron’s main purpose is to carry oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells throughout your body so your cells can produce energy. A protein called transferrin binds to iron and transports it throughout your body. This helps your body make red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin. The first step toward raising your hemoglobin level on your own is to start consuming more iron.

Active Iron supplements

Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition in which there are small pouches or pockets in the wall or lining of any portion of the digestive tract. These pockets occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer. A high-fat, low-fiber diet is the main culprit in diverticulosis, or the formation and periodic inflammation of out-pouching in the intestinal wall. Genetics and low physical activity levels may also play a role.

Recommended Supplement: Fiber

Fiber promotes regularity and satiety, but it does a lot more for your health than just that. For instance, consuming the right amount of fiber regularly also helps slow down your blood sugar response and manage cholesterol levels.

Without adequate fiber, the digestive tract can lose its muscle tone, which can lead to diverticulosis, an incurable condition in which small pouches develop in the wall of the digestive tract. Diverticulosis is uncommon in parts of the world where people eat plenty of grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Meta-Mucil Fiber Powder

Whether it’s vitamins, minerals, or fiber, it’s best to obtain your nutrients from your diet instead of pills. But that can be a challenge for some people, especially if you struggle to eat a balanced diet. You’re most likely to lack vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, or dietary fiber, but other deficiencies can negatively impact your health. If you think you might be lacking certain nutrients, talk to your doctor about supplements that will be safe with any medications you may be taking and any current health conditions you might have.

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