To help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle in your later years, it is a good tactic to combine moderate exercise and a healthy diet alongside a variety of supplements. For men over the age of 65, most doctors will recommend that you eat a high-fibre diet, exercise regularly and take a selection of supplements – which of the three is by far the simplest and most easily implemented recommendation.
Below are 5 supplements that are all beneficial to the health of older people. If you believe that any of these supplements might be good for you, please be sure to check with your doctor before you begin taking them.
Studies have shown that in the US almost 30% of people over the age of 50 do not have the sufficient amounts of stomach acid to absorb Vitamin B-12 from the food that they eat. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can be particularly harmful to older people as it can lead to Anaemia, intestinal disorders and neurological problems including memory loss. Vitamin B-12 supplements are important as a replacement to the Vitamin B-12 taken from food as they can be taken in by the body without relying on stomach acid for absorption.
As you age your body will often begin to produce some of the body’s important compounds at a slower rate which may lead to a deficiency in that substance. One of these compounds is glucosamine, a sugar that is produced by the glucose in your body and is used to repair the cartilage in your joints. As you grow older and become unable to produce sufficient levels of glucosamine naturally within your body, it is certainly worth considering glucosamine supplements, which will not only help to prevent aching joints but can also go some way to reducing the inflammation of joints that are affected by diseases such as arthritis.
Alongside glucosamine, which helps keep your joints strong, you may also want to consider taking calcium supplements as they will go a long way to help keep your bones strong and healthy. It is recommended that adults need around 700mg of calcium per day, which is usually taken from foods such as cheese, milk and vegetables such as cabbage or broccoli. Unfortunately for older people there bodies are less able to digest dairy foods, which are a normal diets biggest provider of calcium, so it is often advisable to begin taking calcium supplements to make up for this deficiency.
Vitamin E, a vitamin that is usually found in foods that are high in fat, such as seeds and nuts, can bring a range of benefits to your body’s antioxidant system. Research has indicated that Vitamin E can be helpful in a range of areas including the promotion of a healthy respiratory system, a healthy heart, circulation and neurological health.
Folic acid supplements are another great example of a supplement that can be extremely beneficial to older people. At an age when keeping your brain as sharp as possible should always be a high priority, it has been found that older people who do not get enough folic acid are far more likely to develop dementia. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is normally found in vegetables such as broccoli and although old age will not necessarily effect your intake, it is certainly worth considering folic acid as a supplement to make up for the fact that older people generally have a smaller appetite and as a result may be slightly deficient of a vitamin that is vital to the health of your brain.