A nutritious diet may help your immune system keep sturdy and preserve well being issues at bay.

“Most vitamin necessities may be met with meals,” says Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Diet and Dietetics. However as you age, you probably have a restricted food regimen and don’t get the vitamins and minerals you want by meals, your physician might suggest a complement.

What Are Dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements are capsules, tablets, powders, or liquids you’re taking to get added vitamins. They could be nutritional vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, vegetation, or enzymes. You should purchase them at grocery shops and pharmacies. You don’t want a prescription for dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements as You Age

If you happen to’re over 50, you could want extra of sure nutritional vitamins and minerals. The physician may suggest a complement that can assist you meet these wants, comparable to:

You want calcium to maintain your bones sturdy. As you age, you lose bone mass, which may result in fractures. “Bone loss accelerates throughout your 50s, particularly amongst girls,” Wright says.

You may get calcium from meals like milk, canned fish, and darkish, leafy greens. If you happen to don’t eat sufficient calcium-rich meals, you could want a calcium and vitamin D complement as a result of vitamin D helps your physique take up calcium.

Vitamin D.
If you happen to get 15-Half-hour of daylight about twice every week, your physique might make sufficient vitamin D. However as you age, it’s more durable in your physique to soak up vitamin D by daylight.

If you happen to don’t wish to take a complement, bulk up on vitamin D-rich meals like fortified milk, fortified cereal, and fatty fish.

Vitamin B12.
“One vitamin we regulate as we age is vitamin B12,” Wright says. “That’s as a result of stomach acid, which is required in your physique to soak up vitamin B12 from meals, declines with age.” You want vitamin B12 to maintain your crimson blood cells and nerves wholesome and to forestall anemia.

If you wish to increase B12 in your food regimen, strive meals like meat and fortified cereals.



Antioxidants like beta-carotene, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin E might enable you keep at bay illness. You may get them by consuming meals like fruits, greens, seafood, nuts, and seeds.

Analysis suggests taking dietary supplements with antioxidants doesn’t defend you from persistent illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. It’s greatest to get antioxidants by the meals you eat.

Natural Dietary supplements

Natural dietary supplements like black cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, and ginseng come from vegetation.

These merchandise aren’t regulated the identical means medication are, Wright says. Plus, some can intrude with medicines you’re taking and others have disagreeable negative effects. Whereas there’s ample analysis on many, there will not be on others. Let your physician know when you’re fascinated with taking one, to allow them to ensure it gained’t do extra hurt than good.

Are Dietary supplements Secure?

Earlier than you think about taking a complement, discuss to your physician. Dietary supplements can work together with sure medicines and alter how they work. And so they could also be dangerous when you take them earlier than you’ve gotten surgical procedure or different procedures.

Taking an excessive amount of of a complement may be unsafe. “Keep away from dietary supplements which might be greater than the UL, or higher restrict, for that vitamin or mineral,” Wright says. “Extra just isn’t higher.”

Taking a megadose will increase your danger of negative effects. If you happen to already get numerous nutritional vitamins and minerals out of your meals, including a complement might offer you an excessive amount of.

Keep away from taking excessive doses of those dietary supplements, particularly when you take prescription medicines:

  • Black Cohosh
  • Cinnamon
  • Echinacea
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo
  • Ginseng
  • Kava
  • Melaleuca
  • St. John’s wort

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin B6

If you happen to really feel a critical response or negative effects to a complement, cease taking it and name your physician.

Do not forget that dietary supplements aren’t regulated like prescription and over-the-counter medicines. The FDA doesn’t check the protection of dietary supplements or what they declare on the label.

“Keep away from dietary supplements that carry all types of claims, comparable to ‘cures reminiscence issues’ or ‘builds libido,’” Wright says. Simply because it says one thing on the label doesn’t imply it’s true.


Suggestions for taking dietary supplements

Attempt a generic. “Generic manufacturers are equal to the extra expensive title manufacturers,” Wright says.

Take it with meals. Taking your complement with meals might enable you take up it higher and keep away from an upset stomach.

Speak to your physician. Your physician may help you determine when you want a complement, and if that’s the case, which of them are secure and wholesome for you.

Attempt to eat nicely. “Do not forget that dietary supplements are simply that, a complement to your food regimen,” Wright says. “Give attention to consuming quite a lot of vegatables and fruits, entire grains, and lean meats to ascertain a robust basis that the dietary supplements can add to.”



Information Launch, Academy of Diet and Dietetics.

Lauri Wright, PhD, Academy of Diet and Dietetics.

Nationwide Institute on Getting older: “Dietary Dietary supplements.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dietary supplements: Diet in a tablet?”

Academy of Diet and Dietetics: “Particular Nutrient Wants of Older Adults.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Dietary Dietary supplements Compound Well being Points for Older Adults.”

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