Supplements for Seniors: What Should You Be Taking?

There are endless supplements for seniors available online, at the pharmacy and the grocery store. Just turn on the television – you’re constantly bombarded with marketing messages that tell you what you should be buying in order to improve your health. If you don’t currently take vitamins on a daily basis, it might cause you some concern. Are you neglecting your health in this area? Are there certain supplements that are necessary once you reach old age?

Are Supplement Claims Accurate?

If you made a decision based off advertisements alone, you would be taking countless vitamins every day. Every brand seems to promise that you’ll be stronger and live longer if only you buy their product. Understand one fact: these claims are rarely substantiated with any evidence. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate over-the-counter supplements. In the case of vitamins, the FDA will only investigate when there are multiple reports of problems with a product.

It’s Best to Ask Your Doctor

Before you assume the supplement retailer’s claims are factual, it’s smart to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will review your current diet and exercise routines and then make a recommendation for a supplement that will add the specific vitamins you might be missing. They will also review the medications you are taking, if any, to ensure the recommended supplement will not interact or interfere.

It’s important to stick to your physician’s guidelines because in some cases more isn’t always better when it comes to supplements for seniors. In fact, taking too much of certain vitamins could be detrimental to your health. At the very least, certain choices could be a complete waste of money since you are already receiving 100 percent of the daily recommended value from your diet.

Focus on Getting Nutrients from Food

All doctors and dieticians will say the same thing: the focus should not be on supplements for seniors or people of any age. You should be focusing on eating a well-rounded diet that provides all of the nutrients your body needs. For most vitamins, it is easier and healthier for your body to absorb nutrients in their natural form rather than a pill or powder.

When are Supplements a Smart Choice?

On the other hand, if you are on a fixed income and find it hard to add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, supplements may help you get the vitamins and minerals you need at a lower cost. In addition, seniors have unique nutritional needs. For example, in order to keep bones strong, older adults must increase their calcium intake per day. Also, it may be difficult for aging adults to absorb vitamin B12 from food, and this nutrient is essential for blood and nerve health.

In summary, the wisest choice is to review the various supplements for seniors under the supervision of your doctor before making a decision. Keeping your body healthy throughout your retired years will help sustain your quality of life and keep you happy and positive. Let My Senior Health Plan assist by reviewing your insurance coverage today – we can make specific recommendations that will help you maintain both your health and your finances.

Pete Blasi