The Top 5 Supplements Seniors Should Consider Taking and Why

Thinking of adding some supplements to your daily routine? The older we get, the more care and attention our bodies need so it’s no secret why not just seniors but people of all ages seek a bit of extra help through vitamin consumption whether the need is for better gut health, reducing headaches, or trying to keep your heart healthy. While many people take supplements, at least 82% of people between the ages of 55 and 64 actively take vitamins and supplements, and for good reason.  

Aging means our immune system is a bit slower to respond and we are at an increased risk of sickness as well. Aside from this, there are other issues we may want to work to prevent. Because of this, at least 88% of people over the age of 65 are currently taking vitamins or supplements. 

We know that adding a multivitamin to our diet can help to boost our wellness but what are some of the top options for other vitamins that seniors should consider? Let’s list the top five.

1. Calcium

If you’re not taking calcium supplements, you should be. It’s crucial for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and blood sugar levels. What’s great about calcium supplements is that they’re available in a variety of forms such as tablets, chewables, or lozenges so you can find one that’s easy for you to consume while getting your daily dose. 

If you’re wondering what your daily dose would be, Dr. Wermer, an endocrinologist with Mayo Clinic, recommends that men between 51 and 70 take 1000 mg each day, and for women 51 or older, he suggests at least 1200 mg. For anyone over 70, 1200 mg daily will be your recommended dose as well. It’s important to start taking calcium as early as you can, especially as you get older because calcium levels in the body naturally decrease as we age.

Think about it like this; this could mean you’re more likely to develop osteoporosis which is a disease that leads to weak, brittle bones. In fact, about 10 million people in the U.S. over 50 are currently living with osteoporosis so it’s important to take calcium supplements to lower your risk of developing it. Basically, take into consideration everything that calcium supplements can help to prevent. 

2. Vitamin D

Every single year, 36 million falls among older adults are reported. Many of these falls result in things like broken bones or head injuries. Did you know that some fall injuries can actually result in death? The number of “fatal falls” among the elderly may surprise you and it’s all the more reason to take bone health seriously. Out of the 36 million reported falls each year, more than 32,000 of them result in death.  

Vitamin D is a vitamin that you should already have added to your daily supplement routine. If it’s not, do what you can to ensure you’’re taking in enough Vitamin D. Not only does this vitamin help to prevent damage to your muscles and bones in the case of a fall or other injury, it actually serves as a great maintenance mechanism for your overall bone health. 

You might also benefit from knowing that Vitamin D also helps you stay healthy by boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and helping to prevent certain types of cancers. As a helpful tip, you might want to start before flu season is in full effect, even if you’re a senior living in Florida because this vitamin can help to reduce your risk of getting colds and the flu.

Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because your body naturally produces it when your skin is exposed to sunlight. However, many older adults don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, so it’s best to add a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has plenty of health benefits whether taken in tablet or liquid form but they are often overlooked because frankly, not too many people think of apple cider vinegar when they are looking for helpful supplements. It can help with weight management, and heart health, improve digestion, and even help to ease joint pain and improve blood flow.  

You can even expect it to help with regulating your pH levels. You might not have already known this but apple cider vinegar is also a great way to help reduce anxiety and general stress and ease depression. This is extremely helpful and shouldn’t be overlooked by seniors living in Florida, considering that depression among Florida seniors has actually made a huge jump by at least 36% which equals out to be 672,000 seniors in the state.

4. Vitamins B6 and B12

Vitamins B6 and B12 are crucial to maintaining healthy nervous and immune systems. Keep in mind that as we age, the risk for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other memory-based issues will rise. This is where Vitamin B12 comes in as it’s a great booster for cognitive health. Also, when your body is low on B12, you might experience a loss in appetite, diarrhea, or constipation among other things so it’s best to just add a B12 vitamin into your routine. 

Vitamin B6 is a great brain helper because it helps to keep our brain development normal and helps to maintain both our nervous and immune systems. If you don’t want to take the supplement version, you can always eat things like fish, potatoes, bananas, or chickpeas to increase your B6 intake. 

As a quick tip, sweet potatoes are a good go-to for this as you will get at least 15% of the daily value that’s recommended for B6 just from a medium-sized spud, according to Healthline.

5. Zinc

The health benefits of this trace mineral are indispensable and more people need to understand this. If your body is “zinc-deficient” you’re negatively impacting your immune system which puts you at greater risk for acquiring infectious diseases. Not only that but you could experience things like;

  • Delayed healing of wounds
  • More susceptible to catching colds
  • Skin rashes or ulcers
  • Vision issues

Zinc helps to boost immunity and it can also be beneficial for seniors who have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes. Zinc can also be helpful for seniors who experience joint pain. Zinc also helps to prevent oxidative stress, which is when harmful chemicals build up in your body and can lead to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancers. It’s basically an imbalance between the development and accumulation of oxygen species and your body’s ability to detoxify them. 

Just to make this clear, it’s not an initial phase of oxidative stress that could lead to cancer. It’s continued oxidative stress. That consistency could lead to chronic inflammation which is what could later cause the development of chronic diseases, cancer included.

Also, this form of stress has been found to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. 

Stay On Top of Your Health

As you get older, it’s even more important to be proactive with your health. While it’s true that there are just some things that we can’t control, there are still things that are just as preventable. If you’re a senior living in Florida, consider adding helpful supplements to your diet. If you have any concerns considering your health and taking supplements, consult with your primary care doctor and ask questions. 

Keep in mind that not all supplements are good for you, especially not at high doses and this is why it’s important to talk with your doctor about best practices including doses when you want to try something new.  

If you’re a senior and you want to take more preventative health measures, realize that you have the power to take control of your health today.

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