Dietary supplements are very critical, especially for older adults. However, not all supplements are good for your health. Some supplements can result in unwanted side effects. So getting supplements from the right pharmacies and chemists can help reduce the chances of some of the side effects.
This article will majorly focus on dietary supplements for the older adult. You will get to understand some of the side effects associated with supplements that are below the standard. Thereafter, you will be able to appreciate various supplements that are beneficial to older people.
Dietary supplements for older adult
They are a wide range of products and may include:
- Amino acids
- And pills
Are supplements equivalent to medicines?
Dietary supplements are not medicines. They cannot be used to treat a certain medical condition say fever or stomach cancer. Supplements can also not be used to diagnose cure or prevent diseases.
Why dietary supplements are not medicines
Supplements do not have strict guidelines or routines whenever you are taking them. One can stop taking supplements at any given time and remain healthy. What’s more, you easily purchase supplements without a prescription and no one will question them. Supplements are treated like special food.
On the other hand, a pharmacist may ask you to produce a prescription whenever you are buying medicine. You may have noted that doctors stress the need to finish a prescribed dose even if you recover in two days. This is something you have probably experienced more so if the prescribed drug is amoxicillin.
So, prescription drugs are regulated by pharmacies and poison boards. Such bodies ensure these drugs have met the required standard and are safe for human consumption. Also, medicines go through many tests and trials during production to ensure they are safe and effective.
However, it is also wise to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Your healthcare provider will help you to decide whether dietary supplements are necessary. The doctor will also help you come up with a dietary plan. Such a plan can have a schedule showing when to take the supplements. Your doctor will also advise you on what to do as you take the supplements to achieve the set goals.
Can dietary supplements have side effects?
Yes. It is worth noting that some supplements can have serious side effects. This may include:
- Changing response to anesthesia during surgery
- Reduced body ability to prevent blood clotting
- And the risk of bleeding after an injury
What’s more, supplements may not interact well with your system if you have an underlying medical condition. So, consult your dietician for a clear understanding of the supplements.
You can get these nutrients from the food from your regular diet. So, the food that you eat has nutrients and contains other important things such as fiber.
Why do older people require dietary supplements?
Dietary supplements can change your life. Anyone who had had an instance of electrolyte imbalance can understand how it feels to have low levels of potassium. Electrolyte imbalance may be due to the consumption of multiple heart medications. Some of the areas affected include potassium, magnesium, and sodium. This can put them at risk of acquiring other medical conditions if the electrolytes are not managed.
What’s more, people advanced age put them at risk of having insufficient minerals. Additionally, their ability to absorb vitamins reduces drastically.
In addition to this, old people have respiratory and dental issues that interfere with their chewing. Therefore, this can hinder the uptake of vital elements such as minerals and fiber. In this case, dietary supplements can be a feasible option.
Also, when you grow old you become less active and at the same time, your levels of energy requirements reduce. This means metabolic rate reduces hence there is reduced calorie intake.
Will you benefit from dietary supplements in the long run?
Multiple benefits come with dietary supplement intake among old people. This may include:
- Dietary supplements are highly recommendable for people with celiac and Crohn’s disease.
- They supply you vitamin D and hence good for people who suffer from osteoporosis.
- Dietary supplements are ideal for those who lack vitamin B12.
- Also, it is believed that vitamin C and E can help reduce age-related muscular degeneration. This is a condition characterized by reduced vision that comes at an advanced age.
- Those who are lactose intolerant benefit from taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Here are some of the dietary supplements that can benefit older adults:
1. Dietary supplements for older adults-Calcium
This is an important supplement in terms of bone development. You can easily get calcium from diets such as milk and bone soup. However, calcium supplements can be an option if your normal diet does not supply it. It is worth noting that when you grow old your bones become weak. Also, you are likely to have a low bone mass which can lead to osteoporosis.
Why older people require calcium supplements
As much as older adults eat a healthy diet, they may have difficulties getting calcium if:
- Older adults are lactose intolerant and do not take dairy products.
- Are on long-term treatment.
- Have digestive diseases that hinder their ability to absorb calcium.
- They consume lots of proteins which makes their body lose calcium through excretion.
2. Vitamin B12
This is another super amazing supplement that can benefit old people. You cannot know if you are lacking this vitamin without going for some screening. When you visit your doctor, he will ask you a few questions and then draw a few drops of your blood and run some tests.
Thereafter the sample will be taken to the lab for analysis. The beauty of this test is that it can tell if your body is lacking other vitamins apart from Vitamin B12. The doctor then recommends a vitamin B12 supplement if the lab test turns out to be positive.
The doctor is likely to recommend dietary supplements if:
- You have inadequate red blood cells in your body.
- The bones are weak. This can lead to osteoporosis.
- Your vision is deteriorating.
What happens next?
You will be recommended Vitamin B12 supplements which are supposed to be taken orally.
3. Dietary Supplements for older adults -Vitamin D
People who are over 70 years require at least 600 IU of vitamin D. Older people are likely to lack this vitamin due to reduced physical movement. They may not be in a position to get it from direct sunlight due to reduced movements. At their advanced age, their body may not be able to convert this vitamin from the sun. Therefore, it is critical to go for a blood test to ascertain if your body has enough vitamin D. Before going for the supplements you can try out the following delicacies:
- Fortified yogurt
- And swordfish
How does vitamin D supplement benefit you?
Vitamin D is responsible for ensuring your bones are healthy and strong. What’s more, the vitamin helps:
- In the growth of brain cells
- Supply your body with antioxidants.
- Muscle development
- Boosts your immunity
- In ant-inflammation
4. Vitamin B6
This is another important vitamin that your body need when you advance in age. Since your body cannot be able to make its own, you can get it from food or in supplement form. So, this vitamin is important for your health since its presence ensures that you do not get chronic diseases.
How does this vitamin benefit you?
Vitamin B6 enhances the creation of neurotransmitters that regulates your emotions. The vitamin also helps to control high levels of amino acids which cause depression.
Reduces the risk of Alzheimer
They important play an important role in preventing this disease and improving your brain functioning. Remember, older people are likely to have cognitive impairment due to advanced age.
Treatment of anemia
The vitamin is required in the production of hemoglobin. So, vitamin B6 is responsible for the prevention and management of anemia.
5. Dietary supplements for older adults–Vitamin B9
This vitamin is commonly known as foliate. This vitamin is needed by old people since it helps prevent and delay memory loss. This is a problem that is common among older people.
Additionally, the vitamin helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.
Which diet can give you this vitamin?
You will mostly get this vitamin from:
- And Brussels sprout
What happens when lack this vitamin?
Folic deficiency can lead to:
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Tongue inflammation
- Be precise. When buying dietary supplements always select brands that your dietician recommends. So avoid supplements that have unnecessary ingredients. Multiple ingredients can be harmful when taken. You wouldn’t want a supplement that will make you have terrible diarrhea or severe headache. So, do not waste your money on unneeded supplements.
- Do your research. Avoid relying so much on TV and radio adverts about supplements. These advertisements can easily mislead you.
- Befriend your doctor. Anytime you want to use dietary supplements, it is advisable to consult your doctor first. Avoid taking supplements to treat or diagnose a medical condition without talking to the doctor. You can go wrong.
- Go for the best. Supplements being on the street at a cheaper price may not be legit. So, ensure you purchase your products from recognized dealers. Go for the brands which have a good reputation and have been in existence for a long.