Despite the fact that most of us spend lots of money buying vitamin and mineral supplements, up to one in two older adults may be lacking in at least one of the nutrients we need to maintain good health as we age, a new study published in Nutrients shows.
According to the study, one in every two people age 65 and over may lack vitamin D and 25% may be deficient in vitamin B12. Vitamin D is necessary to build strong, healthy bones, while vitamin B12 deficiency can result in memory problems that can be mistaken for Alzheimer's disease.
Let's take a closer look at the importance of vitamins D and B12, as well as other vitamins that you need as you age.
These vitamins help prevent frailty, bone loss, memory problems and confusion
Vitamin D is a key nutrient for bone health. Some studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of heart disease
, while others have found that too much vitamin D can cause toxicity. It therefore goes without saying that following your doctor’s instructions are important.
The body uses vitamin B12 to make blood, nerves and carry out other vital functions. As this vitamin is only found in eggs, dairy products, meat and poultry, vegans and people with celiac or Crohn’s disease may develop a deficiency. Although vitamin B12 isn’t toxic, you shouldn’t take a supplement unless you’re deficient.
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Iron deficiency is common among younger women due to loss of blood to menstruation. However, in older people, this can indicate a medical problem like anaemia. Iron supplements are available over the counter, but if you suspect you’re deficient, you should see your doctor first.
A folate deficiency leads to anaemia, which can cause fatigue
, skin pallor, shortness of breath and mouth sores. Deficiency can result from medications interactions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
drugs. Because too much folate can mask vitamin B12 deficiency, you should only take a folate supplement with your doctor’s okay.
The supplements above are all packed with age-fighting power!
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