Supplements Benefit Older People More Than Younger Ones: Here’s Why
If you have never taken supplements before, you may question the value they can offer you as you enter your older years. However, just because you have been able to get all the nutrients you need from food so far, that won’t necessarily continue to be the case.
Whereas younger people can often get by without supplements, older people gain much more benefit from taking extra vitamins and minerals. Here are a few key reasons why older people benefit more than younger ones from taking supplements.
Older People Struggle to Absorb Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common in older people. This is partly because some older people have lower stomach acidity than younger ones, which makes it difficult for their bodies to digest the vitamin B12 found naturally in food. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs also reduce vitamin B12 absorption.
Even though 84 percent of older people consume the recommended amount of vitamin B12, many of them have deficiencies. Taking a supplement is an easy way to boost vitamin B12 intake to compensate for the reduced ability of older people to absorb this vital vitamin.
Older Women Need More Calcium
When women pass through the menopause, their hormonal balance changes. The reduction in estrogen in post-menopause women can lead to their bones becoming brittle. If you are a woman over the age of 50, the NIH recommends that you consume more calcium than other adults: Your recommended daily intake is 1,200 mg, compared to 1,000 mg for a younger woman.
Calcium is found in dairy products, but some older women may need to take supplements as well to get as much of this mineral as they need.
Vitamin D Is Vital for Older People
Vitamin D and calcium work together to strengthen bones and keep osteoporosis at bay. Vitamin D is found naturally in very few foods; you would need to eat a lot of oily fish and eggs to get enough from the foods you eat.
Bodies naturally make vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight without sunscreen, but you need to balance this benefit of sunshine against the risks of skin damage from UV radiation. Taking vitamin D supplements might be a safer option than spending your days sunbathing.
Older Immune Systems Need a Helping Hand
As you get older, you might notice that you catch more colds and other minor illnesses. Your immune system needs an extra boost to keep it working at its best.
Phosphoethanolamine, also known as phospho, can support healthy immune function as you age, helping you to stay healthy even when winter bugs are going around. Phospho is naturally produced by the human body, which means that supplementing with this substance can be a safe and effective way to support your immune system.
Older People Have Slower Metabolisms
As you age, it is normal for your metabolism to slow down, which means you need fewer calories to maintain your weight. If you choose to eat less to keep your weight under control as your metabolism slows, it can be difficult to fit all the nutrients you need into your diet. Rather than eating large amounts of food, which could cause you to gain weight, consider taking supplements to keep your body as healthy as possible as you enter the next stage of your life.