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5 Vital Nutrients Seniors Need and Might Be Missing

image of senior woman holding a glass of milk
Our bodies become less the well-oiled machines they are as we grow older. Though our nutrient needs don’t change, our caloric needs decline. Every calorie we take should be nutrient-dense. One way we can make up for that is by taking dietary supplements.
But how can you know which ones you need with the countless dietary supplements currently on the market? EssexCare Pharmacy, provider of medical supplies in New Jersey, puts up this list of top 5 nutrients you need when you’re in your golden years:
  1. Calcium
    • Calcium is needed for healthy bones. Older adults don’t consume enough putting them at risk to bone brittleness leading to fractures.
    • Recommended Intake: Daily calcium intake is supposedly 1,000 mg. But studies found out that this amount puts the takers at risk of heart attack and developing kidney stones. Doctors are suggesting a lower dosage of 500-700 mg daily.
    • 1-2 servings of dairy every day cover that dose. In case of intolerance, taking a low dose calcium supplement meets up the need.
  2. Vitamin D
    • This nutrient goes hand-in-hand with calcium, enhancing your body’s ability to absorb the nutrient from the foods you eat. It’s also known to prevent cancer, promote chronic pain relief, and keep the heart healthy.
    • Sunlight is our main source for vitamin D. But your skin’s nutrient-conversion ability declines as you age. So, supplementation is needed.
    • Recommended Intake: 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
  3. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
    • Cobalamin is an important component of red blood cell production. It also keeps your nerves healthy. The body doesn’t produce it naturally. The food we eat is our source of the nutrient. But older adults don’t consume enough for their needs. In fact, they’re one of the most at-risk for B12 deficiency.
    • Cobalamin-rich foods are animal-based:
      • Eggs
      • Meat
      • Fish
      • Milk and milk-derived products
    • You can also take supplements to meet your body’s B12 needs.
    • Recommended Intake: 2.4 micrograms every day.
  4. Folate or Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
    • Folic acid increases mental agility and cognitive function in seniors. Deficiency puts them at risk of developing dementia.
    • Legumes, citrus fruits, and leafy greens are great examples of folate-rich foods. There are also bread and cereals that are fortified with it.
    • Recommended Intake: 400 micrograms every day is enough to meet an older adult’s folic acid needs.
  5. Omega-3
    • Omega-3 is essential for every senior’s brain health. It’s also necessary to keep the heart healthy.
    • Foods rich in omega-3 include:
      • Fatty fishes like salmon and sardines
      • Chia seeds
      • Flaxseeds
      • Walnuts
      • Brussel sprouts
    • Recommended Intake: Consume 250-500 mg of the nutrient daily to reap its benefits.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements. Remember, these can interact with what medications you are currently on.
Consultation and patient counseling are part of the pharmacy services in Lodi, New Jersey that we offer our customers. You can come to us for your supplement-related concerns and questions.
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