Supplements For Older Women
A recent survey has shown that over 40% of American adults use multivitamins as supplements to their diets. Additionally, there has been an increase in women over the age of 60 who have started using calcium supplements. Recently there has been studies that have shown an increased risk of death in an older woman who has taken several of the commonly used mineral and vitamin supplements. As concerning as these results may be, you shouldn’t stop taking any vitamin supplements that your doctor has prescribed unless they have instructed you to.
Supplementing Your Daily Routine
Before taking any supplement be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure if it’s appropriate for you and that it won’t conflict with any medication you may be taking or any condition you have. It’s important to note that supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy and nutritious diet. As we age we can become deficient in certain minerals and vitamins and the nutrients we consume from our diet may not be enough for a healthy life.
Your bones account for almost all of the calcium in your body. As we age, calcium is leached from the bones which can put us at risk for osteoporosis or osteomalacia. To maintain healthy strong bones as we age you should do weight-bearing exercises such as dancing, weight lifting or running. Vitamin D is often included in calcium supplements because it helps your body absorb more of the calcium.
Recent studies have shown more benefits to Vitamin D and thus more people have started to take Vitamin D supplements. Known as the sunshine vitamin because our body can make it when we’re exposed to sunshine, vitamin D aids your body to absorb calcium and is vital for healthy strong bones. By strengthening your bones, it can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. If the thought of taking a supplement doesn’t appeal to you, try to spend 30 minutes twice a week in the mid-day sun to get Vitamin D naturally.
Vitamin B12 is used by every cell in your body, especially the ones in your spinal cord and brain. Symptoms of deficiency include hallucinations, confusion or agitation. Mostly found in animal proteins, vegans and vegetarians are most at risk of being deficient in vitamin B12. A severe deficiency can lead to anemia similar to an iron deficiency.
Iron is a vital mineral that’s found in our red blood cells – the oxygen transporting cells of the body. A deficiency in iron can lead to anemia and fatigue. It can also cause shortness of breath, a difficulty in maintaining body temperature and decreased the immune system. As we get older we may not consume enough iron in our diets and our bodies tend to absorb less iron. For this reason, your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement for you.
As we get older vitamin and mineral supplements can keep us healthy and strong but they’re not a replacement for a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about using women’s health supplements if you feel that you may be lacking in any of the essential vitamins and minerals.