Best Vitamins for Old Age: Their Pros and Cons

As we grow older, our health depreciates as well. Check out these vitamins for old age to help you supplement the nutrients your body needed.

Best Vitamins For Old Age

What are the best vitamins for old age?

As we grow older, our health depreciates as well and some functions of the body may become less effective or impaired. Thus, getting proper nutrients can be challenging as we progressively age. Calorie requirement also begins to decrease at this point. This means that every meal should count and must contain an ample amount of nutrients.

However, there’s a high chance that you might still not getting sufficient nutrients at every meal, according to Ms. Katherine Tucker, a registered dietician from the Northeastern University in Boston. This is because the body becomes less effective in nutrient absorption in old age.

In addition to this dilemma, the elderly’s taste buds change as well which may lead to disinterest in foods. It’s also fairly common that the elderly may experience difficulty in chewing and swallowing which results in loss of appetite.

There are particular nutrients that the elderly may need for their body to function at optimum. The following are some of the essential nutrients they need:

Calcium

The human bone becomes brittle and less hydrated in old age. For the male elderly, the daily recommended allowance for calcium intake should be at least 1,000 mg for people between the ages of 51 to 70 years old. For over 70 years of age, the recommended daily allowance should be at least 1,200 mg.

For the senior female, the advised recommended daily allowance of calcium should be at least 1,200 mg for ages 51 years and over. 

Pros

Regular intake improves and strengthens the overall condition of the bones. Calcium also supports the functions of the heart, nerves, and muscle tissues.

Cons

Taking calcium supplements isn’t for everyone because it can cause serious complications to people in people hypercalcemia—a health condition that occurs as a result of excess calcium in the body.

Calcium supplements are also associated with certain types of prostate cancer but there are no definitive links to this claim.

Dietary Fiber

It primarily aids healthy digestion and cleanses the gastrointestinal tracts. You can sufficiently obtain them through your leafy greens and fruits and vegetables. However, if the elderly have a difficult time chewing and swallowing their foods then it be may be necessary to provide them with dietary fiber supplements. 

Pros

It helps the elderly regulate bowel movement and provides relief from bloating and constipation.

Cons

There are no cons to fiber consumption. It doesn’t induce serious health implications and is generally considered safe.

Lutein

Lutein is best known as an eye supplement and provides treatment for eye dysfunctions. Both the elderly and the young can benefit from the daily intake of lutein. It’s stored in the macula of the retina of the eyes.

Pros

It improves the overall condition of the eyes.

Cons

Lutein supplements may be unsafe for children and pregnant and nursing mothers. And because lutein is a carotenoid, its overconsumption can lead to a condition known as carotenemia. It’s a skin problem that causes it to turn to an orange-yellowish discoloration.  

Vitamin B12

This type of vitamins for old age is obtained in dairy products, meat, and meat-based products. Fortunately, for the non-meat eater, you can also easily benefit from vitamin B12 through dietary supplements.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is also common in the elderly and its symptoms are often ignored. It includes neuropathy, memory difficulties, fatigue, and anemia.

Pros

It improves cognitive function and supports red blood cells.

Cons:

Vitamin B12 supplements are considered healthy and safe. However, it’s still advisable to take them as prescribed by your physician.

Folic Acid

According to Dutch research that’s was published by Lancet, folate or folic acid enhances brain function which may be especially beneficial to the seniors. The research was led by Ms. Jane Durga of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. 

Pros

Studies have shown that regular consumption can improve mental agility in older people.

Cons

Folic acid in dietary supplementary form is safe and no cases of side effects were reported if consumed in regulation. However, intake of folic acid in high amounts for long periods can cause potential side effects such as rashes, sleep disorders, nausea, stomach problems, and irritability.

Omega-3 fatty acids

According to a study released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, omega-3 fatty acid is found to prevent dementia and improve longevity. It’s observed to boost mood. Although this particular study shows a promising result on the elderly, this type of nutrient is beneficial in all ages.

Pros

It may have medicinal value against depression, arthritis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Cons:

If eaten in excess, these vitamins for old age can become toxic to the body. One example is that it can cause bleeding or blood thinning.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins for old age. Like calcium, this nutrient improves bone health. It’s normally produced in the body through the help of morning sunlight. Vitamin D particularly supports bone health by aiding calcium absorption. 

Pros

Other health benefits may include boosting the immune system, improves muscle elasticity, supports cellular growth, and regulate nerve cell transmission.

Cons

Over intake of vitamin D may lead to hypertension, hypercalcemia, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and bone loss.

Potassium

An average person may possess at least 5 ounces of potassium in his body. Potassium, alongside calcium and sodium, supports heart function. It also helps regulate water balance in the body which aids the proper function of nerve cells and prevent muscle contraction.

Potassium can be found in almost any food group. Some good sources of potassium include meat, fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. However, you may need to give potassium supplements to the elderly if they’ve lost their appetite.

Pros

Potassium is critical for the proper functioning of organs, tissues, and cells.

Cons

Intake more than the required recommended daily intake is unsafe and can lead to adverse complications. Some of the common side effects include paralysis, cognitive impairment, fatigue, and low blood pressure.

Magnesium

In almost every enzyme process of the body, magnesium is needed to stimulate such functions. Also, it plays a role in the absorption process of other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin d, zinc, and potassium.

Pros

It promotes better bone health, strengthens your teeth, and improve metabolism.

Cons

If magnesium is over consumed through dietary sources, side effects are unlikely to occur because any excess magnesium is flushed out from the body through urination. However, overdose from magnesium supplements is likely and may lead to side effects such as gastrointestinal issues. 

Best Vitamins For Old Age

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