People should be cautious about their diet at all stages of life, but things become more complicated as we grow older. When you’re over 70 it’s of the utmost importance to make sure you take the necessary daily amount of vitamins, as a deficiency increases susceptibility to disease. It also doesn’t help that our bodies don’t absorb vitamins as efficiently the older we get, so taking supplements might be the only way for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
B12 helps your body create blood and nerve cells and it’s relatively easy to get your recommended daily dose, as it is present in all types of animal food, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. However, since the stomach acid required to absorb B12 declines during your 50s, it becomes quite challenging to consume the recommended daily dosage. This is why the Institute of Health recommends anyone over 50 to check their B2 levels regularly and take supplements if necessary.
When you get to your 50s, bone loss starts to accelerate. Calcium is an essential mineral to help improve bone strength and prevent diseases like osteoporosis. Dairy products are the main source of calcium, but recent studies show that animal products like milk may, in fact, be more determinantal to your health than beneficial. Therefore, it’s better to play it safe and rely on supplements instead.
You can get vitamin D just by going outside, as your skin absorbs it directly from the sun. Initially, scientists believed that vitamin D was only important to enhance calcium absorption. However, recent research shows that vitamin D can also reduce chronic pain and decrease the probability of heart disease. Like the others mentioned so far, vitamin D absorption decays with age and you may have to consider a supplement to keep your levels high.
The same way your bone loss accelerates with age, your ability to build muscle mass also deteriorates when you hit your 70s. While this seems like a small thing compared to other aspects that you need to be cautious about, losing more than 10% of your muscle mass makes your immune system unable to function properly. Fortunately, protein powder is readily available, so you won’t have any problems finding a healthy powder to mix in with a daily shake.
Omega 3 is most well known for being present in fish and other seafood, but you can find it in nuts, seeds, and plant oils as well. While not a vitamin per se, this fatty acid does wonders for your health, as it reduces the chance of having heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis, just to name a few. The main problem is that our bodies can’t produce Omega 3 and, therefore, it’s essential to incorporate it into your diet.
3 Best Vitamin Supplements for Seniors
Before we get into what we believe as the best vitamin supplements through our careful research, a word of advice: always go to your doctor before taking any drugs, including supplements. Since vitamins can be sold without FDA approval, there’s no one like your doctor to advise you on which ones you should take, especially if you’re already taking other medication.
Manufactured by GSK, Centrum is one of the most well-known multivitamin supplements worldwide. The company provides products specifically for older adults and considers the recommended vitamin intakes for both male and female seniors. You can also find extra supplements under Centrum’s portfolio that include other vital ingredients, such as Centrum Multi + Omega-3. Moreover, while the tablets are made to be easy to swallow, Centrum also provides the option of taking your daily vitamins through gummies. Unfortunately, these aren’t sugar-free, so you should be extra careful if you have diabetes.
Alive Once Daily
Alive Once Daily by Nature’s Way is another popular option with specific formulas for women and men over 50. Products are manufactured in the U.S., are gluten-free, and, as the name suggests, you can get most of the essential vitamins by only taking one tablet a day. The tablets are quite big, but they break in half for easy swallowing. If they're still too hard to swallow after you break them, you can always get Alive Once Daily in gummies. They’re way easier to take but be aware that these include sugar.
One A Day
One a Day is one of the most affordable multivitamin supplements, where a bottle containing 200 tablets costs $15. Like the name states, you only need to take one tablet a day, which means that a bottle will be enough for over six months. They’re strong on the stomach, though, and both men and women have complained about feeling nauseous after taking their daily dosage. Of course, only a minority feel these side effects but if you do feel similar symptoms after taking One A Day, you should stop immediately.
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