Taking Dietary supplements as You Age


A nutritious diet may also help your immune system keep robust and hold well being issues at bay.

“Most vitamin necessities could be met with meals,” says Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Diet and Dietetics. However as you age, when you have a restricted weight loss plan and don’t get the vitamins and minerals you want by means of meals, your physician might advocate 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

When you’re over 50, it’s possible you’ll want extra of sure nutritional vitamins and minerals. The physician would possibly advocate a complement that can assist you meet these wants, corresponding to:

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

You will get calcium from meals like milk, canned fish, and darkish, leafy greens. When you don’t eat sufficient calcium-rich meals, it’s possible you’ll want a calcium and vitamin D complement as a result of vitamin D helps your physique take in calcium.

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

When you 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 control 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 pink blood cells and nerves wholesome and to stop anemia.

If you wish to enhance B12 in your weight loss plan, attempt meals like meat and fortified cereals.



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

Analysis suggests taking dietary supplements with antioxidants doesn’t shield you from persistent illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. It’s greatest to get antioxidants by means of 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 manner medicine are, Wright says. Plus, some can intervene with drugs you’re taking and others have disagreeable uncomfortable side effects. Whereas there’s ample analysis on many, there might not be on others. Let your physician know in the event you’re serious about taking one, to allow them to be certain that it received’t do extra hurt than good.

Are Dietary supplements Protected?

Earlier than you think about taking a complement, discuss to your physician. Dietary supplements can work together with sure drugs and alter how they work. And so they could also be dangerous in the event you take them earlier than you will have surgical procedure or different procedures.

Taking an excessive amount of of a complement is also unsafe. “Keep away from dietary supplements which can be greater than the UL, or higher restrict, for that vitamin or mineral,” Wright says. “Extra is just not higher.”

Taking a megadose will increase your danger of uncomfortable side effects. When you already get numerous nutritional vitamins and minerals out of your meals, including a complement might provide you with an excessive amount of.

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

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

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin B6

When you really feel a critical response or uncomfortable side 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 security of dietary supplements or what they declare on the label.

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


Ideas for taking dietary supplements

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

Take it with meals. Taking your complement with meals might allow you to take in it higher and keep away from an upset stomach.

Discuss to your physician. Your physician may also help you resolve in the event you want a complement, and in that 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 weight loss plan,” Wright says. “Deal with consuming quite a lot of vegetables and fruit, complete grains, and lean meats to ascertain a powerful 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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