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4 Vitamins and minerals important for the elderly

Due to decreased body condition, elderly often lack of vitamins and minerals. In some cases the elderly need supplements to keep them healthy.

Modern society seems to include people who are already familiar to supplements. Generally these supplements are multivitamins that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Entering the elderly is generally characterized by a physical decline. Including reduced ability of the elderly body to absorb various vitamins and minerals. In certain conditions, this often makes the elderly lack of vitamins and minerals. Sometimes even become nutritional deficiency.

A study from the US National Center for Biotechnology Information proves that at least one out of every four elderly residents in big cities and advanced consume multivitamin supplements. While more than half of them consume 4-5 kinds of supplements.

Most of the reasons the elderly take supplements regularly is to slow aging, maintain stamina so as not to get sick easily, or to prevent malnutrition. Not infrequently, some people are willing to spend in large quantities to buy these supplements.

What are Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins are nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to stay healthy. The amount needed depends on the type of vitamin. Because your body can only produce a limited amount of vitamins, therefore you need to add from your food intake or supplement. While minerals are other nutrients your body needs to function properly. Examples of minerals include iron, calcium, and zinc.

Type of supplement needed

Unlike the more fruit and vegetables consumed will make the body more healthy, supplements turned out to give a different effect. The elderly who get supplements regularly is not necessarily healthier than those who do not consume them.

Because basically, if the vitamins and minerals that the body needs can be fulfilled through food consumed, then supplements are no longer needed. However, because of the effects of aging, there are several types of vitamins and minerals that need to be consumed by the elderly, namely:

Vitamin B12

Is a type of vitamin with a fairly complex mechanism. In order to be absorbed properly by the intestine, vitamin B12 needs to be fastened by a substance released by the stomach.

In elderly people with digestive disorders (especially in the stomach and intestines), vitamin B12 absorption may be impaired. As a result the body lacks vitamin B12 and causes anemia, tingling, nervous disorders, and cause irritation of the tongue.

One of the best sources of vitamin B12 is from meat. If the elderly are still able to chew meat properly and have no indigestion, then vitamin B12 supplements are not needed.

However, if the consumption of B12 supplements is necessary, consult first about the dose and how to administer (with tablets or injections) to the doctor in order to provide optimal benefits.

Vitamin D

It is the nutritional component needed to support bone density, maintain muscle mass, and maintain immunity. Naturally vitamin D is obtained through food and sun exposure in the morning.

In the elderly with little mobility, the chance of exposure to sunlight is reduced, resulting in vitamin D deficiency. One solution is to take vitamin D supplements.

However, the use of these supplements should be consulted first with a doctor to determine the exact dose of vitamin D. Because the residue from vitamin D can not be excreted through the urine, but accumulates in the body. Generally the recommended dose is 10 micrograms per day.

In addition to taking vitamin D, elderly can also meet the needs of vitamin D through foods such as milk and yogurt, and by basking in the sun (ranging from 7 to 8 am) for 10-15 minutes.


This nutrient plays a role in keeping the bones and teeth strong, helping the contraction of heart muscle and blood clots. The best sources of calcium are not from supplements, but from foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, green vegetables, nuts, and fish.

Calcium deficiency in the elderly causes brittle bones and breaks easily. However, calcium supplements are needed only when the calcium intake of food can not be met.

So, consult your doctor first if you want to consume calcium in the form of supplements. Because in some people, intake of calcium supplements can cause diarrhea.


Iron is an important mineral found in red blood cells. The role of red blood cells is your body's 'oxygen-carrying cell'. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, your body condition does not have enough healthy red blood cells. The most common symptom of anemia most commonly encountered is fatigue.

When a person enters the elderly, they are generally not enough to just get iron from food alone. This happens because of their reduced ability to absorb less iron.

Because iron is found in red blood cells, bleeding caused by wounds or after surgery can cause iron loss. Consult your doctor for this iron supplement. Like calcium, iron can cause constipation. Iron can turn the feces into black.

Elderly whose metabolism has begun to decline does require additional nutritional intake. The three types of supplements above are the most needed intake. If supplement consumption is necessary, consult your doctor about the dosage, frequency, and mode of administration.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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