Ideally, seniors would get all the nutrients they need from a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed foods. But as people age, their bodies need higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals and lower amounts of others, such as iron. Multivitamins developed for seniors are different from the vitamins a younger person might take, and may include more vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Given the huge selection of vitamins, minerals, and supplements available, how do you know which one is right for you?
One of my clients, Doris, was convinced by a television commercial that a certain vitamin brand had to be the best because it was “natural” and promised a wide variety of health benefits. It was also very expensive and required a monthly subscription that she could really not afford.
“Why don’t we ask your doctor what she recommends,” I suggested. “The label ‘natural’ doesn’t mean anything specific, and it’s a good idea to ask your doctor before you start taking a supplement, given the other medications you’re taking.” Some supplements can make prescription medication less effective or even have an adverse interaction, potentially causing harm to your health.
Doris’ doctor suggested that a daily multivitamin could help, and wouldn’t interact with her blood pressure medication. While the doctor didn’t specify any particular brand, she did advise that a multivitamin for seniors should have Vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, folate, and vitamin B12.
What about other types of supplements? Products on the market include everything from promoting sleep to increasing your energy levels. Doris asked if she should also take a ‘memory pill’ to prevent dementia. However, supplements that claim to boost memory have not been shown to be effective in a number of scientific studies. Companies that make supplements do not have to prove to the government that their products actually work, or even if they’re safe. The doctor advised Doris that challenging her brain with crossword puzzles, ‘brain games,’ starting a new hobby, and other cognitive activities could help keep her mind sharp.
“Remember the basics,” I reminded Doris. “While vitamins can be helpful, no pill can replace a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and staying connected with the people you love.”
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 877-337-0922 or email us at email@example.com”. We’ll be happy to assist!