Seven Supplements for Seniors
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At Cooper Clinic, we believe that it is ideal for people of all ages to obtain the necessary nutrients from the food that they eat. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can hinder a balanced diet, especially for older adults.
Many seniors no longer spend time cooking meals. Changes in ability to taste and metabolize food can lead to a loss of appetite. There may also be changes in how the body absorbs nutrients from food as one ages. Even dental conditions can affect whether or not a balanced diet is achieved.
Supplementation can be a helpful solution to optimize nourishment when food intake alone does not provide the necessary levels of nutrients. Below are seven supplements Cooper recommends considering for yourself as you age or aging family members under your care.
1. Vitamin B12
Natural sources: meat, fish, eggs and dairy products
It is common for those 60 years or older to have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, often because many older adults tend toward a diet with fewer animal and dairy products.
Severe deficiency can cause anemia and, in some cases, nerve damage. Cooper Clinic tests all patients 60 years and older for vitamin B12 deficiency. The normal range for vitamin B12 is 254-1320 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) of blood serum, but Cooper Clinic physicians recommend levels at minimum of 450 pg/mL. Try Cooper Complete Vitamin B12 drops.
2. Joint Health (Glucosamine & Chondroitin)
Cooper Complete Joint Health Supplement is a blend of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, magnesium, gelatin and bromelain. Glucosamine and chondroitin are not obtained directly from food–they are naturally manufactured in the body. Both are necessary components of healthy cartilage. As the body ages, it may be helpful to take supplemental glucosamine and chondroitin to aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis by controlling joint pain and slowing the progression of the disease.
Bromelain is included in the formula as it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Cooper Complete Joint Health does not provide relief for everyone with joint issues. The ingredients take approximately two months to work into joint cartilage and provide relief.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Natural sources: salmon, barramundi, sardines, lake trout, mackerel, herring and tuna
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the best known and well-regarded supplements on the market, and for good reason. There is quite an impressive body of research verifying many benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, including reducing inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also support heart and brain health.
The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fatty fish each week for adults. Because it is not common for seniors to eat this amount of fish on a regular basis, we recommend taking Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 to provide the important long chain omega-3s (EPA & DHA) our diets need. At this year’s Mindshare symposium hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Cooper encouraged attendees to take 2,000 mg EPA/DHA per day as one of the steps to obtain optimal brain health and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults over age 65 should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Without the appropriate amount of sleep, symptoms such as memory loss, irritability and depression may result.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that helps control sleep and wake cycles. Cooper Complete produces both a Quick Release Melatonin (for those who have difficulty falling asleep) and a Prolonged Release Melatonin option (for those who have difficulty staying asleep throughout the night). For elderly individuals with insomnia, taking melatonin before bedtime has shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as improved sleep quality throughout the night.
5. Fiber (Metamucil & Psyllium)
Natural sources: beans, fruits, vegetables, wheat bran, whole grains and nuts
Taking additional fiber is a common practice among seniors. Fiber promotes digestive health and regularity, lowers LDL cholesterol, reduces bleeding and pain from hemorrhoids and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It also can be a tool to improve weight management and increase satiety between meals.
With fiber supplements, it is important to note that they should be taken separately from other supplements and medications, as fiber supplements can interfere with absorption of the later. It is best to take fiber supplement products at least two hours before or two hours after other supplements and prescriptions.
Natural sources: milk, cheese, yogurt, fortified orange juice, tofu, kale and almonds
Ideally, we recommend getting calcium from your diet, but this is another nutrient that seniors can have difficulty getting from food intake. Based on the latest research, Cooper Clinic recommends the following for daily calcium intake:
- Women Ages 19-50: 1,000 mg
- Women Ages 51+: 1,200 mg
- Men Ages 19-70: 1,000 mg
- Men Ages 71+: 1,200 mg
Cooper Complete Calcium Citrate contains 250 mg per tablet. Proper calcium intake along with other nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin D (both found in all of the Cooper Complete multivitamins) and weight bearing exercise are essential for healthy bones.
7. Prostate Health Supplement
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, is common for aging men. More than 50 percent of men over 60 are affected by BPH and 80 percent of men aged 80 or older experience symptoms, including discomfort in the groin area, a frequent or urgent need to urinate, a stop-and-start urine flow or weak urine stream, nocturia (waking up during the night because you have to urinate) and a feeling that the bladder hasn’t emptied fully. Cooper Complete Prostate Health Supplement has been formulated to include saw palmetto, pygeum and lycopene to ease the symptoms of BPH.
The Cooper Complete supplements listed above are designed to be taken in conjunction with a Cooper Complete multivitamin. To find out more about the entire line of Cooper Complete products, visit our website at www.coopercomplete.com or call 888-393-2221.
Article provided by Karen Perkins, Cooper Concepts Account Executive.