Supplements for Seniors

Our nutritional needs change as we age. Many seniors consume fewer calories than they did when they were younger, resulting in a lesser intake of essential nutrients. Bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients like vitamin D and some of the B vitamins after the age of 65, and women in particular require more calcium and iron at this latter stage of life. In addition, the fact that many seniors take prescription medications for one ailment or another can affect their vitamin and mineral levels.

Older adults should ensure they get enough B vitamins, especially thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, to ensure a hearty metabolism so they can extract maximum energy out of food consumed. For strong bones, they should consume sufficient calcium along with vitamin D and magnesium.

Seniors should pay attention to getting sufficient vitamin C and vitamin E to maintain healthy skin and gums and to protect cells from damage. These antioxidants, along with zinc also help fend off infections.

A sufficient vitamin A intake is necessary for the eyes and essential fatty acids such as omega-3's are good for the heart.

Many older adults suffer from insomnia as their sleep needs decrease with age. Consuming foods rich in tryptophan, or taking 5-HTP or melatonin supplements can help.

Talk with your doctor, nutritionist or holistic practitioner to determine if vitamin or mineral supplements are necessary, and how much to take.

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