Everyone after their 40s needs more than others need to supplement their diet as they run the real risk of real inadequate nutrition. As the body grows older, it needs even more life-giving vitamins to ward off disease, fight illness, as well as daily repair and maintenance. Seniors especially make dietary compromises which result in nutritional deficiencies. That is why vitamins for seniors is so vital. The older you get, the more important nutrition becomes.
Can Vitamins Really Help You?
To answer the question in the subheading, yes — vitamins can help you IF you are taking assimilable vitamins and that is the key. Vitamins are especially critical as the older we become, the less efficient the body becomes. We need vitamins not just for maintenance, but to strengthen our bodies’ regenerative efforts for metabolism but also for daily energy. Also, the limited amounts of vitamins researchers say contributes to illness and degenerative diseases. Vitamin K, for example, has been found to exist at low levels in Alzheimer’s patients.
What Are The Best Vitamins for Seniors
Let’s take the premise of “what are the best vitamins for seniors” a step further. Needless to say, senior health issues are different than those for the younger set. Seniors need good digestive health, good basic energy levels, good brain function, and good eyesight adequate enough to have a basic healthy life notwithstanding their diminished capacity due to age. Vitamins for seniors is important, but vitamins and minerals, though important, cannot do that alone.
There are some superstar nutrients that we’d like to discuss how to help educate you in your quest for better health. Of course, other factors are a part of good health such as diet and exercise, but nutritional adequacy is vital — that is the basic point of these supplements vitamins for seniors page.
Vitamin D is often called the “sunlight vitamin” as it’s produced by the body when the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit the skin. It also has the distinction of being the only vitamin the body actually manufactures. It is also a fat-soluble vitamin essential for good teeth and bone health. It also helps to strengthen the immune system. The elderly don’t usually get enough Vitamin D. Seniors between the age of 50 and 70 to need 400 IU (international units) of it per day. If you’re over 70, 600 IU per day.
Seniors usually lack Vitamin K. It is essential for blood clotting and helps maintain and even enhance bone density. It plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. We mentioned before that Alzheimer’s disease and Vitamin K studies show have a common link — Vitamin K levels are lower in carriers of the APOE4 gene, the gene that is a risk factor in Alzheimer’s. Though not an antioxidant per se, it does prevent cell death. RDA for Vitamin K is 120 micrograms per day for senior men, 90 micrograms for senior women.
Vitamin E is essential to good senior health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has potent antioxidant properties thus preventing the oxidation of the fatty acids in the membranes of all cells. It slows aging. (Entertainer Bob Hope gave vitamin E credit for allowing him to live such a long life.) The RDA (Recommended international units (IU) for an adult is 22 IU (or about 15 mgs).
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid benefits include not just antioxidant capability, but it also helps the B vitamins produce more energy from proteins, carbs, and fats. This is one of the unknown yet very capable vitamins for seniors you should know about. Studies also show alpha-lipoic acid supplements help prevent complications from diabetes but it also helps in the treatment of many diversified health issues including, glaucoma, even liver problems cirrhosis — HIV infection. It helps slow aging– something of interest to all, including seniors.
Gotu Kola is another popular memory enhancer that finds its way in a myriad of memory supplements or memory pills. As with Gingko Biloba, the authors can personally testify as to its efficacy. Due to its capability to enhance memory and as a nerve tonic, among other capabilities, Gotu Kola has been called “food for the brain.” Interestingly enough, Gotu Kola is a favorite food among elephants perhaps explaining the saying, “A memory like an elephant.”
A Vitamins for seniors web page wouldn’t be complete without mention of Ginkgo Biloba. Gingko Biloba comes from a tree species that is literally one of the oldest trees on earth. This powerful antioxidant helps improve circulation, fights coronary disease, and helps improve and correct brain-centered activity by improving oxygen levels in the brain. It even helps in eliminating impotence and in lessening the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. For good effect, take 30 to 60 mg twice a day.
Green Tea Extract
Green Tea possesses a powerful antioxidant called polyphenols that studies suggest are even more potent than vitamins C and E to destroy cancer-causing free radicals. This is one of the most potent vitamins for seniors or foods in the world, in our opinion. Among its many therapeutic benefits, Green Tea has also been shown to have very promising results regarding preventing prostate cancer. Look for 25 to 100 mg of green tea extract for the best effect.
Carnosine is an active antioxidant antiaging substance that is produced by the body by the enzyme carnosine synthetase. It supports cellular rejuvenation by working on both glycosylation and free radical damage. Glycosylation is the oxidation of proteins by glucose (blood sugar) that results in the cross-linking of proteins that are in turn implicated in the loss of cell function, genome integrity, and aging. Look for a supplement that has 50 to 150 mg of it for optimum effect.
N-Acetylcysteine has shown the ability in clinical studies to actually improve the autoimmune system while simultaneously preventing cellular damage and thus aging. It also is a potent protector to environmental toxins like secondhand cigarette smoke, herbicides, even some chemicals. It is a powerful oxidant when taken at the 35 to 150 mg recommended level.
Found in red wine and grape juice (among other sources), Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that studies have shown eliminates free radical damage linked to many cancers. It also has robust anti-inflammatory properties. Regarding its anti-cancer capability, it actually combats cancer at all three steps: initiation, promotion, and progression. Look for a supplement that has 25 to 40 mgs of it for the best effect.