For many adults, aging gracefully and maintaining health are key goals in the golden years.
But as the years progress, it can become more difficult to get all of the vitamins and minerals needed simply from a healthy diet. Vitamins and supplements can help seniors receive the nutrients they need, but local experts caution the best advice regarding vitamins is to “keep it as simple as possible.”
“Most studies have found that just your regular, multivitamin works really well in most cases,” said Shawn Sams, co-owner and pharmacist of Louis Morgan No. 4 in Longview.
Sams said Louis Morgan offers a variety of multivitamins that range in price, but he said it’s important to know that you don’t have to buy the most expensive vitamin on the market to get a good product. Louis Morgan often recommends Cerovite Senior tablets for seniors 50 and older, he said.
Before taking additional supplements beyond a multivitamin, it’s best to consult with a doctor or health care provider. At Louis Morgan No. 4, pharmacy staff can run a vitamin depletion report that can help the team recognize what nutrients a patient needs.
“We have programs that can help us analyze your prescription drugs, tell us what nutrients they are known to deplete and we can help make sure those vitamins get replaced,” Sams said.
While the recommended supplements for seniors will differ based upon each individual’s needs, Sams said some of the most common vitamins or supplements include Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Zinc.
Calcium plays a key component in aging, and calcium deficiencies can lead to brittle bones or bone diseases such as osteoporosis. A calcium supplement can help the body offset that deficiency.
Vitamin D also plays a key role in supporting skeletal health by building and protecting bones. It also aids in the absorption of other vitamins, such as calcium, Sams said.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a key role in immune system health and metabolism, while Vitamin B12 helps support energy production, keeping red blood cells and nerves healthy. Sams said a methylated Vitamin B12 helps seniors absorb the vitamin more effectively. Methyl B12 is a form of the vitamin that’s already in its active state, which makes it more biologically available to your body.
Meanwhile, Zinc is an essential nutrient that helps the body with a variety of functions including protein synthesis and immune function. Sams said Zinc is an antiviral that can help stop viruses from replicating; that made it a useful supplement for individuals to consider during the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those considering adding vitamins and supplements to their daily life, Sams encouraged speaking with a pharmacist for recommendations.
“Some vitamins may interact with prescription medications. If you consult with us, we can help you time everything out so that you’re able to take your prescription medicine and your vitamins at intervals so that they don’t interfere with each other,” Sams said. “We can help solve timing issues.”