Which vitamins and minerals should I take if I'm an older adult?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Most vitamins can be obtained through diet and sunlight, but ensuring adequate levels of vitamin D and calcium sometimes requires taking a vitamin supplement. Calcium and vitamin D can contribute to bone health; the recommended amount of vitamin D increases with age. Those with a poor diet, anemia, malabsorption syndromes or other medical conditions may benefit from other minerals and vitamins as indicated. Speak with your doctor to determine if you are vitamin deficient and may benefit from specific vitamins.
F. Michael Gloth, III
Geriatric Medicine
A multivitamin with minerals is sufficient for most people in older age, with some exceptions. We know that some nutritional requirements change as adults get older. Note that most people only need a few vitamins and minerals in supplement form to meet their needs.

Most healthcare providers recommend additional supplementation with calcium, to make sure that you get over 1 gram per day in divided doses. At least 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D should be taken orally per day, depending on your circumstances and sunlight exposure.

Vitamin D can remain in the body for long periods of time, so this vitamin can be taken in large quantities but less frequently. Taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 monthly is roughly equivalent to taking almost 1,700 IU per day (50,000 IU/30 days). Taking a vitamin B complex supplement that includes folic acid is also important, because these nutrients are often inadequate in the diet of older individuals.
Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

More About this Book

Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

As people reach their fifties, the body’s metabolism slows. Without a change in eating or exercise habits, it’s common to put on weight and become less able to perform routine physical...

Continue Learning about Vitamins

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.