What Supplements are Recommended for Older People?

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question-icon-newI’m over 50 years old and in pretty good shape but I’m looking to get in great shape. I’ve read that for my age, I should be taking nutritional supplements in order to supply my aging body with the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. I’m a little confused on whether I can get everything I need from muscle building supplements like whey protein powder and creatine or are there other types of specific supplements that are designed for older people. Can you recommend some of the most important supplements I should be taking as part of my over fitness plan?

answer-icon-newAging is a natural process in all humans which cannot be stopped. Aging is a stage when the oxygen in the body’s cells begins to decrease and oxidation increases causing the formation of free radicals. These free radicals start to destroy the normally functioning cell metabolism. To stay strong and fight such free radicals, the body requires supplemental nutrition in the form of nutritional supplements. Here are a few helpful suggestions in choosing the best supplements for your age.

Vitamin E
This is known as the miracle vitamin for older people because it prevents the formation of free radicals and increases stress resistance thus improving blood circulation. Vitamin E, being a natural antioxidant, strengthens the heart and increases oxygenation of the cells and tissues and prevents quick oxidation. Though vitamin E is present in the diet, nutritionists recommend that Vitamin E supplements be taken by older people.

Vitamin C
This is responsible for fighting against premature aging of the cells by strengthening an intercellular element known as collagen. Capillaries carry nutritive substances and oxygen to the cells in the body. Hence, if these capillary walls are strong more oxygen can be carried to the cells.

Vitamin A
This too increases and improves cell oxygenation. Eating foods like carrots, fish liver oils, leafy and green vegetables along with tomatoes that are rich in Vitamin A is highly recommended.

Vitamin B
This comprises a group of around 20 different vitamins, some of which play a major role in combating the process of aging. Vitamin B1 takes care of the nervous system and the heart. Niacin, which is another part of the vitamin B group, protects the body against strokes and heart attacks. Pantothenic combats infection and produces increased levels of cortisone. B15 is responsible for lowering the oxygen supply to the body, especially for those living in areas where there is severe air pollution. It also fights against carbon monoxide that affects the lungs. Folic acid reduces the risk of high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. Lecithin is the primary component of nerve and brain tissues. It is capable of preventing heart diseases that are caused due to atherosclerosis by destroying the heavy deposits of cholesterol in the arteries. Besides this, it also contains vital vitamins like D, E, K and B.

Vitamin P (Flavonoids)
Like the above mentioned vitamins, this is one of the most popular supplements for older people, especially in the U.S. It is a bio-flavonoid and also a co-vitamin of vitamin C and ascorbic acid. It is very effective when taken along with Vitamin C supplements. It is effective in strengthening blood capillaries and regulating their permeability.

Besides following these above mentioned supplements for older people, it is always good to consult with your doctor or health care professional on the type of supplement that is required for each individual. Though these supplements may not have side effects, they may create health problems if taken without consulting your physician, especially for those using other medications.

I think it’s completely fine at 50 years old to experiment with supplements, especially a good quality whey protein powder and a multivitamin supplement. However, as mentioned previously, before starting any supplementation program make sure to run the products by your doctor just to be on the safe side.

The best thing you can do at 50 years old is to build lean muscle mass. Since testosterone levels drop as you get older and your body slowing starts becoming catabolic (breaking down), this results in a loss of muscle tissue. You want to do everything you can to maintain and even build more muscle mass since this is the engine which burns calories and is the most metabolically active tissue in your body. No matter which supplements you take, you should always focus on eating clean, nutrient dense whole foods as your main source of fuel to get in great shape.

Strength training and aerobic exercise are also very important as you age. Not only for muscle building, heart health and lowering body fat levels but also for the basic mobility of each individual. These types of exercises add to the body’s wellness that is achieved from eating a nutrient dense whole food diet along with the right nutritional supplements which are meant to keep older people feeling strong and healthy!

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