As a person advances in age, their nutritional requirements may change. Some elderly individuals find it difficult to meet their nutritional needs simply through diet alone. For this reason, it is a good idea to consider taking nutritional supplements. You'll find everything from joint supplements designed to improve mobility and support bone health, to vitamins for increased energy.
Here are a few of the important dietary supplements you should consider for better health during those golden years.
1. Vitamin B12
If you have been experiencing low energy levels, you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 helps the body metabolize cells and supports bone health as well. Equally important, B12 helps the body form healthy red blood cells. A deficiency of this nutrient may result in fatigue or anemia, among other things.
Because seniors are often prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, it's wise to speak with your doctor. Your doctor may suggest blood work to determine if you indeed have a deficiency. If you don't consume meat, fish, and eggs too often you might want to think of an alternative to ensure you receive this key nutrient. Your pharmacist can assist you in making the best choice.
2. Vitamin D
You probably recognize the importance of vitamin D for maintaining good bone health. Many seniors are prone to brittle bones, as bone density decreases with age. For this reason, be sure you are consuming adequate vitamin D. Without this important vitamin, your body will not be able to process calcium, another essential nutrient for bone health. '
Vitamin D is present is milk, although you might not be getting an adequate daily amount. Check your pharmacy for vitamin D supplements. You might want to consider taking this supplement in conjunction with calcium, but consult with your health care provider first.
3. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Whether you suffer from a degenerative form of osteoarthritis or you have lost some mobility in your joints with age, glucosamine and chondroitin are supplements to consider, as they are designed to support cartilage and joint health. Some experts believe the supplement also contains beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown glucosamine and chondroitin decreases pain in some individuals with osteoarthritis. To improve your range of motion or joint pain, check your pharmacy for a high quality supplement containing both glucosamine and chondroitin. Most people will be fine with a dosage between 500-1,500 milligrams per day.
4. Omega-3 Fish Oil
As a very popular supplement, omega-3 fish oil offers many benefits for seniors. Primarily, fish oil offers cardiovascular support. This healthful nutrient may help prevent heart attack, stroke, and blocked arteries, all of which many seniors may be at risk for.
In addition, fish oil contains natural anti-inflammatory properties, helping seniors deal with aching joints. As an added advantage, some studies show that fish oil may improve cognitive abilities and improve the memory of seniors.
If you don't consume salmon, mackerel, and tuna, consider adding a fish oil Omega-3 supplement to your daily regimen.
The healthy live bacteria that live in the gut are referred to as probiotics. These microorganisms may diminish as one advances in age. If you take medications, this reduction may be more likely to occur.
When you experience digestive issues such as constipation, a probiotic supplement may be beneficial for you. The objective of probiotic supplements is to replace the "friendly" bacteria that may be lost. The Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli are two common strains of probiotic to look for.
Always consult with your health care provider before taking any type of nutritional supplement. Read labels and warnings, as some supplements may interact with medications you may be taking.