May is Older Americans Month. In recognition of that, we discuss several proven health-inducing supplements that can be of benefit to elderly Americans, mainly those aged 60 and older. Some of these health-inducing additives can be helpful for most or all aging individuals, while others are recommended to target certain health needs.
The Value of Intentionally Aging Healthy
What is now recognized as Older Americans Month is a practice initiated by President John F. Kennedy's administration in 1963 to raise awareness for the well-being of the elderly. Today, it is maintained by a government-supported organization known as the Administration for Community Living
Dietary health and nutrient intake are major contributors to an elderly person's health. If you are over 60, then there are many reasons to mind your dietary health. An elderly person's nutrient intake
is important, with certain vitamins being essential.
Many elderly people can get sufficient nutrients by eating a diverse and well-balanced diet. Still, there are many reasons to take dietary supplements, and doctors will sometimes suggest them for you just like they would do with a prescription.
It is important to note that some supplements can interact with certain medications
or have side effects, so it's recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider before taking one.
Furthermore, taking a dietary supplement should be done in the context of a healthy lifestyle; Avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol intake, getting sufficient sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight
are more fundamentally important for health purposes than taking a supplement.
Supplements for Senior Citizens
is a critical mineral
for aging individuals. There are a few reasons for this. Most prominently, calcium is needed for strong bones. This is especially true for older women (and men) who have or are at risk for osteoporosis. Having strong bones in old age greatly reduces the chances of breakage and fracturing. Elderly individuals who don't prioritize getting enough calcium might not get enough of it. Certain medications can also affect calcium absorption.
contributes to many bodily functions, including red blood cell production, and the health of the central nervous system
. The human body's effective absorption of B12 tends to decline with age, due to less hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach. Vitamin B12 is contained in meat and other animal-based foods, but an elderly person's B12 absorption could still be less than ideal. That's why a B12 supplement could be of help.
is a protein that is crucial to the structural integrity of your body. It is important for your skin as well as your muscles and other tissues. Collagen production declines with age. Taking a collagen supplement could be helpful in preventing bodily decline
. The two most notable benefits of collagen are improved skin hydration and elasticity (which can help stave off the effects of aging), and a reduction of joint pain and stiffness due to osteoarthritis.
is a crucial mineral since it contributes to more than 300 different chemical reactions
in the body. Two of its most important roles are DNA repair and energy production. Magnesium is present in many plant-based foods such as nuts and legumes, but not all elderly folks regularly consume these. Roughly 60% of adults are deficient in magnesium, a condition that is linked to heart disease and a host of other common diseases. For these reasons, supplementing with magnesium could help prevent disease, and promote overall health and longevity.
is a trace mineral. It works as an antioxidant, and for this reason, it can reduce the risk of many common diseases
associated with aging. In making dietary considerations, selenium is often overlooked. It is mostly found in eggs and other animal-based foods. Elderly individuals who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet could benefit from supplementing with selenium.
For senior citizens, nutrient intake is an important aspect of bodily health. Supplementing with some of the nutrients above can help prevent disease, improve bone health and skin health, and provide other benefits as well. A reminder: talk to your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or supplements for the first time.