As you age, hormonal changes can dampen how effective your body is at obtaining certain vitamins and minerals. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) gives the low-down on the best pills to pop throughout the decades.
In your 50s
Bone loss accelerates during your 50s, especially among women as they go through the change.
Nutritionist Diane McKay explained: “Since oestrogen helps maintain bone mass, women become more vulnerable to bone loss after menopause.”
The recommended daily intake of calcium is 12,000mg for women and 1,000mg for men.
Great sources of calcium include cheese, yoghurt and milk, meaning vegans would benefit from taking calcium supplements.
Vegan-friendly sources of calcium include sesame seeds, tahini, broccoli, cabbage and okra.
Understandably, it may be a dietary challenge to incorporate as much calcium as you need through your diet alone.
This is why calcium supplements are an easy way to get the calcium you need.
Another supplement recommended by the AARP would incorporate probiotics.
As the body ages, it becomes more vulnerable to unhealthy bacteria, hence the need for probiotics.
Probiotics help to reintroduce good bacteria in your gut, which will be beneficial for your health.
“If your gut isn’t healthy, your body can’t absorb nutrients,” stated nutritionist Johnny Bowden.
Good food sources of probiotics include yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, and dark chocolate.
In your 60s
As you enter the golden years, dietary requirements will change as the gut becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients – hence it’s still recommended to consume probiotics.
Due to malabsorption, many older individuals are likely to suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, a mild vitamin B12 deficiency could increase a person’s risk of developing dementia.
The AARP recommends people to have their vitamin B12 levels checked by a blood test arranged by your doctor.
If it’s found your vitamin B12 levels are low, medical professionals are likely to advise you to take supplementation.
Additional dosages of omega-3 become vital, as it’s linked to brain health.
Without the recommended daily dose of 1,000mg of DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid), brain function and memory retention may be compromised.
In your 70s and above
Appetite is likely to fall to the wayside when you reach your 70s – have you noticed you don’t eat as much as you used to?
The body’s ability to build muscle mass greatly deteriorates in this decade, which can negatively impact your immune system.
However, supplementing with protein pills can increase lean body mass and muscle.
People in this age group are recommended to eat more beef, chicken, beans and almonds.