Senior multivitamins are designed to fill gaps in your diet by supplementing vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. Pros of taking a multivitamin for seniors. As you get older, your body may not absorb nutrients as a natural consequence of age or because of medications you take.
Nov. 30, 2012 — At least half of adults age 65 and above take daily vitamins and other supplements, but only a fraction actually need them, says an Emory University expert. The majority of older adults, he says, can improve their diet to get needed nutrients.
Why supplement? As we get older it’s more difficult to digest, absorb and metabolise nutrient, and some medications may also inhibit the whole process. Supplements may also be needed for those who do not have a diet which contains enough of the vitamins and minerals needed maintain good health.
Good for your heart: Studies show that taking a high-quality multivitamin may reduce cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1, Niacin (B3), CoQ10 and magnesium, all play a role in cardiovascular health.
Multivitamins and minerals are used to provide substances that are not taken in through the diet. Multivitamins and minerals are also used to treat vitamin or mineral deficiencies caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, certain medications, and many other conditions.
The researchers concluded that multivitamins don’t reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline (such as memory loss and slowed-down thinking) or an early death. They also noted that in prior studies, vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements appear to be harmful, especially at high doses.
Although multivitamins may be beneficial for some people, they’re unnecessary for most. In some cases, they may even provide excessive amounts of certain nutrients. If you want to boost your nutrient intake through diet alone, consider adding some of these nutritious, whole foods to your routine.
As we get older our bodies have different needs, so certain nutrients become especially important for good health.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among the elderly. Elderly people are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because of the high prevalence of atrophic gastritis-associated food-cobalamin (vitamin B12) malabsorption, and the increasing prevalence of pernicious anaemia with advancing age.
Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity.
If you take a multivitamin, it’s probably because you want to do everything you can to protect your health. But there is still limited evidence that a daily cocktail of essential vitamins and minerals actually delivers what you expect. Most studies find no benefit from multivitamins in protecting the brain or heart.
A 2013 editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that daily multivitamins don’t prevent chronic disease or death, and their use can’t be justified — unless a person is below science-based requirement levels.
Side effects of multivitamins include:
While routine use of multivitamins and other supplements isn’t recommended for the general population, people in certain life stages or “high risk” groups can benefit from them, the JAMA article noted.
You may need to avoid some vitamins and minerals if you have kidney disease. Some of these include vitamins A, E and K. These vitamins are more likely to build up in your body and can cause harm if you have too much.
The most common side effects would be gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, according to Dr. Woods.