What Supplements Should Men Take as They Age?
One of the biggest challenges people face as they age would definitely be getting the ideal amounts of nutrients for better well-being. Nutrient requirements tend to change as you grow older, and not reaching your daily recommended amount can be detrimental for your health.
People over age 50 may need more of some vitamins and minerals than younger adults do. Your doctor or a dietitian can tell you whether you need to change your diet or take a vitamin or mineral supplement to get enough of the following:
If you haven’t noticed by now, your body needs calcium at every stage of your life. Calcium works with vitamin D to keep bones strong at all ages. Bone loss can lead to fractures in both older women and men. Calcium is found in milk and milk products (fat-free or low-fat is best), canned fish with soft bones, dark-green leafy vegetables like kale, and foods with calcium added, such as breakfast cereals.
Filipino men between 50 to 59 years old require 750 mg of calcium daily, and for those who are 60 and above, 800 mg of calcium is recommended every day. Note that taking high doses of calcium (more than 1,500 mg a day) could lead to stomach pain and diarrhea.
Consult your physician about taking calcium supplements in case you’re not able to get calcium from your diet.
#2: Vitamin D
Often overlooked, vitamin D is also essential for the body no matter your age. Vitamin D helps ensure good bone, teeth, and muscle health, assists in regulating phosphate in the body, and promotes better lung and immune system function.
Most importantly though, vitamin D is required for better calcium absorption. Failure to get enough vitamin D can result in insufficient amounts of calcitriol, a hormone considered as the “active vitamin D.” In effect, the body absorbs less calcium from the food you eat and raises your risk for various health issues.
Results of a 2007 study highlighted that you’ll have a lower risk for hip fractures if you take oral vitamin D together with calcium supplements.
Aging men aged 51 to 70 years old are recommended to get at least 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily.. Just be cautious and ensure that you don’t get more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
While it’s great to get vitamin D from adequate exposure to sunlight, you can also ask your physician about a vitamin D supplement to help address and reduce your risk for a vitamin D deficiency.
#3: B Vitamins (Vitamins B6 and B12)
While there are many vitamins in this particular group, aging people are often recommended vitamins B6 and B12 due to their many benefits.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, helps metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to be used for energy, aids in improving immune system and brain function, produces hemoglobin for your red blood cells, and creates various neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Moreover, vitamin B12 is renowned for its role in maintaining nerve health and creating DNA and red blood cells.
For men, vitamin B6 requirements stand at 1.3 mg from 19 to 50 years old, and at 1.7 mg if they’re 51 years old and above. As for vitamin B12, the recommended daily amount is at 2.4 mcg, no matter their age.
The good thing about B vitamins like these would be their abundance in a lot of fruits and vegetables. However, you can also take a vitamin B complex supplement to make sure you’re meeting the daily recommended amounts.
Look for supplements that contains vitamins B1, B6, and B12, all of which may help reduce your risk for a B vitamin deficiency and boost your overall health.
Before taking any of the suggested supplements, always remember to consult with a healthcare professional first. They can help you understand more about your current status and provide additional insight on the nutrients your body may need. However, if you already notice symptoms of a vitamin or mineral deficiency, seek medical attention so these can be addressed immediately.