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Are Vitamins Right For You?

Aging > Are Vitamins Right For You?

Most diets can use the boost provided by vitamins. Vitamins offer anti-aging benefits and may even contribute to decreased incidents of debilitating conditions often experienced with aging.

Ideally, we would derive adequate nutritional support from the foods we ingest. Instead, much of the food we eat is over-processed and nutrient depleted. Our nutritional needs change with aging. You can give your diet and your overall health a boost by taking a good multi-vitamin each day.

Although there are some baselines, nutritional needs change with aging and vary from person to person. For example, women typically need about 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. The recommended daily allowance increases with menopause. Pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy are advised to take folic acid to prevent neural cord defects, such as Spina Bifida. Even if you take in a well balanced diet most days you may still benefit from the extra nutrients provided by a multi-vitamin. Studies have shown that vitamins can be a help in the fight against many of the conditions, such as cancer, heart related ailments and cataracts, we may face with aging.

Most of us know about the basics of vitamin benefits. For example, we commonly think of vitamin c when we think of cold defense. Did you know that zinc also provides cold relief benefits? We think of vitamin d when we think of healthy bones and teeth. There are many more vitamins and minerals that also provide significant health benefits. These include vitamin e, which is thought to help prevent cancer, cataracts and heart disease; niacin, which helps lower cholesterol, vitamin k, which is said to promote blood clotting, and magnesium, which may fight against heart disease and ease diabetes.

If you are aging, and we all are, a vegetarian, pregnant, menopausal or even feeling less than your best, vitamins are right for you. There are more vitamins on the market than one has time to research. It is helpful to follow some basic guidelines as you navigate the sea of vitamin choices. Look for high quality supplements that are free of fillers and binders. Don’t always assume that the most expensive brand is the best brand. Read and compare labels – ask questions of knowledgeable staff. Also, check for pill size (there is often a picture on the bottle) and correct dosing information. You may need to swallow several very large pills to get all of the nutrients promised on the label. If that would be a problem for you, choose accordingly. Make sure, too that you note the best time to take your vitamins. Some should be taken with food others should not. You want to be careful that you do not do anything that blocks absorption, which defeats your ultimate goal.

If you are having difficulty finding the vitamin that is just right for you, talk with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist. Simple blood tests can pinpoint your specific needs. If you don’t have access to a professional, try investigating on your own.
Check out your local library or bookstore for information on your particular needs (i.e. based on age, gender, diet and health concerns).

Aging > Are Vitamins Right For You?