This vitamin has been shown to be important to increase your immune system and studies have found a connection between Vitamin D deficiency and COVID infection. While a large portion of the general population has been found to have low Vitamin D, seniors as a group are largely deficient. This is largely due to the fact that the only major, natural way to intake Vitamin D is exposure to sunshine – which many seniors do not get enough of.
In addition to enhancing your immune system, Vitamin D supplements can boost the absorption of calcium, help increase muscle mass, and decrease symptoms of depression, particularly in those with an existing vitamin D deficiency.
The B vitamins are called by their numeric names such as B6 and B12 and also by their chemical names like folate, riboflavin, and thiamine. This group of vitamins is very important for people of all ages, with seniors having special needs and benefits from these nutrients. Some studies have shown that a B vitamin deficiency could be linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline, osteoporosis, and heart disease in seniors. In particular, people over the age of 50 may be at an increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency and should be tested to see if they need a vitamin B12 supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that is a very important nutrient. This is especially true for seniors, as some research has shown that omega-3s could slow declines in brain health and protect against conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, omega-3s may reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and could aid in the prevention of heart disease. While regular consumption of fatty fish such as salmon can provide you with omega-3, most people do not consume enough of this kind of food and therefore an omega-3 supplement might be beneficial.
This nutrient is key to proper bone health. Many seniors suffer from weakened bones and related conditions. Women have a high risk of osteoporosis, or bone loss, as they get older. Calcium deficiency can lead to having lower bone density. Not all calcium supplements are the same – the better kind is calcium citrate and combined with Vitamin D (which aids in the absorption of calcium).
This most basic type of nutrient is very important for the health and even safety of seniors. This is because adults start losing muscle mass and bodily strength as they get older, which can increase the risk of falling and make many daily activities more difficult. Seniors also often need extra protein due to the reduction of the body’s ability to convert consumed protein into muscle. A good way to supplement your protein intake is to add protein powder to the foods you already eat.
While collagen is mostly known for having more “youthful” skin, this special type of protein is also important for muscle and joint health. This nutrient decreases as we age and many seniors can benefit from taking a collagen supplement. In addition to improving skin hydration and elasticity, collagen may also help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, including joint pain and stiffness.
This naturally produced enzyme, also known as CoQ10, helps your body to produce energy. As people age, they produce less of CoQ10. While not as well known or considered as many of the other nutrients discussed above, it is indeed very important for seniors. Research has shown that low levels of CoQ10 have been associated with several health conditions, including heart failure, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and chronic brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.