Are You Taking Your Vitamins?
While Fred Flintstone vitamins are a great way to help your grandchildren grow up healthy and strong, seniors require different types of vitamins. As we grow older, our bodies require vitamins that can help ward off disease, fight illness, as well as perform daily maintenance and repair. While it's always recommended to consult with your doctor to coordinate a comprehensive vitamin plan (including how much and when to take them), here we outline common vitamins that benefit seniors.
- Vitamin D: Often called the “sunlight vitamin” because it is naturally produced by the sun, this is the only vitamin that is actually manufactured by the body. However most seniors don't get enough sun to produce the recommend amount, especially in the winter, so it's a good idea add this to your vitamin diet. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium to keep bones strong, as well as maintain a healthy nervous system and even lower the risk of certain cancers.
- Vitamin K: This is a vitamin often lacking in senior diets, yet it is essential for blood clotting and maintaining bone density—a key component of preventing osteoporosis. Additionally, studies show that Vitamin K levels are lower in those with Alzheimer's disease, suggesting the proper amount may help prevent its onset.
- Vitamin B12: Many seniors don't have enough B12 in their diet, especially those who eat little to no protein. But since this important vitamin helps break down food and convert it into energy, as well as strengthen the immune system and improve nerve function, it's a good idea to get the recommended amount if your diet is lacking.
- Vitamin E: While it's not exactly magic, Vitamin E can actually slow aging and reduce and prevent age spots. As if that weren't reason enough to get your daily dose, it also lists the ability to lower blood pressure, ease leg cramps, strengthen the immune system, and slow the progression of Alzheimer's among its benefits.
- Vitamin C: You're never too young or old to reap the benefits of Vitamin C. It helps build healthy bones, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons, as well as its more well-known ability to ward off illness.
- Beta Carotene: This is actually a carotenoid that is converted by the body into Vitamin A. It is important for skin and eye health, and can also fight infection and reduce the risk of certain cancers.