Senior vitamins are essential for people who are 50 years or older. As we age, our body’s natural ability to effectively utilize nutrients gradually diminishes. Medications, illnesses, surgeries and injuries can all interfere with the body’s ability to break down the nutrients it receives via food intake. Vitamin supplements can counter this trend by ensuring the body receives the essential nutrients it needs to maintain good senior nutrition as we age.
Studies have shown that certain types of vitamin deficiencies are common among older people. Many seniors, for instance, have low levels of vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid because their stomachs can no longer absorb these nutrients. Deficiencies of these vitamins have been known to cause a slew of age-related ailments such as dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
Similarly, seniors often tend to have lower levels of vitamin D and vitamin K compared to younger adults. Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Seniors with sufficient levels of vitamin D have been shown to live considerably longer than seniors who have deficient levels of the vitamin. Vitamin K is essential to blood coagulation. People who have deficient levels of vitamin K are, according to some studies, more prone to Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis compared to people with normal levels of the vitamin.
Vitamin Supplements for Seniors
Many of these essential vitamins for seniors are found naturally in brightly colored fruits and leafy vegetables. They are also available in the form of nutritional supplements for seniors and nutritional drinks for seniors. These are supplements that are designed specifically for people who are 50 years or older. Senior nutritional drinks, in particular, are crafted for older people who are unable or unwilling to consume regular solid foods.
Seniors who do not consume the prescribed amounts of fruits and vegetables daily can benefit enormously from taking the following nutritional supplements for seniors to boost their level of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein:
Vitamin C and Vitamin E Supplements
Taking both these supplements daily can help reduce the risk of high-blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, prevent certain types of cancers and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to blindness. Doctors typically recommend about 1,000 mg of vitamin C and about 400 IU of vitamin E daily for seniors.
Vitamin B Supplements
B vitamins such as B6, B9 and B12 are some of the most crucial vitamins for seniors. B vitamins are essential for preventing cardiovascular problems and heart disease in older adults. Most vitamin B supplements combine all three major B vitamins into one easily consumable 100 mg pill.
Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements
Vitamin D supplements can help maintain bone density and bone strength. They can also help maintain the strength of the body’s autoimmune system. Vitamin D is especially crucial for seniors who do not get enough direct sunlight daily. Seniors need between 400 and 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Calcium supplements can help protect against bone loss, bone-thinning and osteoporosis, and are especially important for post-menopausal women.
Omega 3 and Iron Supplements
Omega 3 fatty acids help protect the heart, reduce cholesterol levels and mitigate arthritis. Iron helps prevent anemia and vision loss. Taking daily supplements of both these ingredients is essential for maintaining good senior health.
Nutritional Drinks for Seniors
Liquid supplements are crucial for seniors who have trouble swallowing or chewing food. Such supplements are also vital for seniors who are unable to cook nutritious meals for themselves because they are too physically or mentally feeble. Many liquid supplements for seniors combine all the senior vitamins that are needed to maintain good nutrition in one single-serve drink.