Supplements for Seniors – Essential for Elder Health

We are pleased to share this article which discusses supplementation aspects of healthy aging in South Florida. For more information on senior health and South Florida Elder Care, please visit Advocare South Florida!

Research has discovered that as we age, our diets and our need for dietary supplements become more. Doctors are increasingly concerned about boosting the levels of vitamins and minerals that we need as we grow older.

As most people get older, they tend to eat less due to a loss of appetite. As a result, many elderly individuals do not take in adequate amounts of vitamins and other nutrients as they did when they were younger. Other factors that can affect appetite and the inadequate uptake of vital nutrients are medications, medical complications, certain disabilities, diabetes, changes in the digestive system and even the changes in our skin as we age. One study estimates that one-third of the elderly are alarmingly low on important vitamins and minerals. Another study indicates that two thirds of the elderly patients admitted to a hospital are mal-nourished, resulting in low levels of vital nutrients. When a person is vitamin and mineral deficient, he or she is more susceptible to illness and infections. It is estimated that deaths due to infections are ten times more likely in the elderly.

Important Senior Supplements
So what is a vitamin and why is it so essential to our bodies? A vitamin is a molecule that our bodies need to carry out certain biological functions. With only a few exceptions, we have no way to create vitamin molecules ourselves, so these vital building blocks must come in through food that we eat. The human body is known to need at least 13 different vitamins. We are able to store some of these for long periods of time in fat cells or in the liver — such as vitamin A — but for optimal senior fitness, most vitamins need to be replenished frequently.

Vitamins don’t supply us with energy. We need protein, carbohydrates, and fats for that. What vitamins do is to help the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins release energy. These vital compounds are very important and they are required for all sorts of complex chemical reactions in our bodies. Vitamins are also needed to assist the enzymes that repair tissue and help with the production of cells. Many studies show that vitamins and minerals can help or prevent some of the disorders or diseases related to aging.

There are two types of vitamins — water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins are not stored in our systems. They pass through us quickly. In order to keep these nutrients in our bodies we have to consume them frequently. Water soluble vitamins contribute to our health, energy and stamina. This type of vitamin also helps in the function of over one hundred enzymes and chemical reactions that give our bodies energy. Listed below are some of the well known water soluble vitamins and their benefits.

•Vitamin B5 – good for reducing swelling
•Vitamin B3 – reduces tissue swelling and helps increase blood flow.
•Vitamin B6 – also reduces swelling. When combined with vitamin B12 in proper concentration has shown to reduce heart disease.
•Vitamin B12 – This is the most vital of the B’s. It aids in the formation of cells, myelin production, healthy nerves, and maintaining immune system and mental function.
•Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps in the formation of cartilage and bone. Some studies have shown it may reduce the progression of osteoarthritis.
Fat soluble vitamins are vitamins that stay in the body and are typically stored in the liver. You can usually receive enough of these compounds by eating a well balanced diet. Any condition that can interfere with the absorption of fat in the body like tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, hypothyroidism, lactose intolerance, and many other diseases or disorders can cause deficiencies in these vitamins. Before taking the daily recommended dose of fat soluble vitamins you must consult your doctor. Overdosage of these substances can cause a toxic build-up. Listed below are the major fat soluble vitamins.

•Vitamin A – Lungs, throat and mouth depend on vitamin A to retain moisture. This compound is also important for your skin, bones, teeth, digestive system, urinary tract, eyes and aids in preventing skin disorders like acne, boils, and bumpy skin. Some studies show that it may aid in slowing the aging process.
•Vitamin K – plays an important role in the clotting of blood. Research has linked vitamin K to bone health.
•Vitamin D – is produced in the skin by exposure to the sun. Deficiencies mostly occur in people living in northern latitudes where daylight is brief during winter months. Changes in skin as we age can also cause poor production of vitamin D. Studies show that osteoporosis might progress faster in women with low levels of vitamin D. This compound is essential in helping the body absorb calcium and in maintaining strong bones.

Advocare provides South Florida Geriatric Care Management and Elder Advocacy services to elders in South Florida on behalf of their adult children and extended families all over the country. Services including RN Care Advocate accompaniment to physicians and advocacy and communication among providers and the family. For more information on South Florida elder advocacy and care management, please visit us at

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