Taking Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Becomes More Important as We Age.
Taking Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Becomes More Important as We Age.

No one much likes the thought of growing older. Perhaps if you could achieve all the benefits of aging, such as accumulated wisdom, pleasant memories, and clearer priorities the thought of aging would become more appealing.  Studies have shown that as we age, we actually tend to use more of our brain, synchronizing our two hemispheres to provide for improved reasoning and problem solving skills. So out brain improves as our knees give out. Wouldn’t it be nice if our physical body could keep up with an ever improving mind?  But such is not the case.  As we age we experience many roadblocks to continued good health. We all know that, as the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Of course, this is true. If we all maintained an optimal diet, perhaps there would be no need for concern.  But as we get older, this becomes harder and harder to do. Our appetite diminishes, and we may have trouble chewing. And even if we do our best, out bodies may no longer be capable of processing our food as efficiently as they once were. Well, while nothing can guarantee immortality, or anything close, we can do our best to keep our bodies functioning at optimum levels with a few basic nutritional supplements.

Men over the age of sixty may be presented with any number of physical roadblocks.  The wear and tear on our joints may adversely affect our comfort and our mobility.  Our aging bodies no longer produce hormones at their youthful levels. Our cardiovascular system, subject to the rigors of years of effort, may begin to degenerate. Blockages can build up in arteries over the course of years, slowing down the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to vital areas, and the heart itself, which is a muscle, after all, may degenerate. Additionally, our ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat may not be what it once was. So it is important that we know how to find help in dealing with these problems, and knowing what kinds of supplements are available, and can be of use, is important.

First, it must be said, that everybody can, and will, benefit from taking a multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement on a daily basis. These supplements will contain the basic vitamins and minerals necessary for our continued good health, including the especially important vitamins B12 and D.  B12 is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells and the continued health of nerve function.  Vitamin D is important to the well-being of our teeth and skeletal system as well as our immune system. These supplements are the basic building blocks of any supplement regimen.

Next on the list should be omega 3 supplements, consisting of fish oil, flaxseed oil,  and algae oil. These essential fats help protect us from cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, they have anti-inflammatory properties which can ease conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, which can be quite common in older adults and whose resultant limited mobility can greatly compromise the quality of life.

As men age, one of their primary concerns is their prostate. An enlarged prostate, known medically as benign prostate hyperplasia, can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including incontinence, painful urination, and an increased risk of urinary tract infections. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse has reported that over half of all men between the ages of sixty and seventy years of age suffer from this condition. Saw palmetto, a plant extract, is useful  in improving these symptoms. Saw palmetto is available over the counter, with no side effects other than the occasional upset stomach. Small price to pay for relief.

Almost everybody is aware of the fact that the hormone levels that we produce in our later years are not quite as high as those of our youth. And, some men may, quite rightfully, be concerned about that most male of hormones, testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for what, many feel, makes them a man. It controls muscle growth, bone density, fat distribution, red blood cell production, and, of course, the sex drive and fertility. There are a couple of natural supplements available to help increase testosterone levels, including ZMA, a formulation of zinc and magnesium, and tribulus, an extract from the tribulus terrestris plant.

Possibly the latest, and most effective, miracle supplement to come to our attention is the spice turmeric, often called tumeric. This plant is native to the Indian subcontinent, and has been used as a spice, a dye, and a tea drink for ages. It is one of the basic spices used in the preparation of Indian curries. The substance which gives turmeric its yellow color, and its healthy qualities, is curcumin. Curcumin is a proven powerful inflammation blocker. However, it has been estimated that turmeric contains only about three percent by weight of this substance, so it would be more advisable to purchase a turmeric extract, which consists primarily of curcumin, as a supplement, rather than simply relying or the spice turmeric, or eating a large pot full of curry .Many diseases of the human body are accompanied by inflammation. These include cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, depression, and  rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric can ease the inflammation involved in these conditions. It has also been used in the treatment of diseases which cause inflammation of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, as it can reduce the buildup of disease in the brain tissue. One unfortunate circumstance, however, is that curcumin is difficult for the body to absorb. It is not water soluble, but it is soluble in fat, so it may be advisable to take your daily supplement with a fatty meal. If you are trying to avoid fats, however, as so many of us “wrongly” are, try taking your supplement with a few black peppercorns. Pepper contains a substance which helps to break down the beneficial curcumin. As if the aforementioned benefits aren’t enough, you should be aware that curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to rid our body of all those pesky and damaging free radicals wandering about.

You may think that you are perfectly healthy. You maintain a healthy body weight, you exercise regularly, and you are careful about your diet. But advancing years can undermine many of your good intentions. It would do you no harm to err on the side of caution if you are truly serious about your continued good health. A few pills a day could make a world of difference.

If you are concerned that your urine will be more expensive, just know it will be, but in my mind it is well worth that small increase in cost. I have been bearing that additional cost for decades and am convinced that at 72 years young (at time of this writing) it has been well worth the investment in my future, extended future, that is.

 

 



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I’m Nick Wilkinson. I writer and radio personality who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

With over 14 years of experience in the Behavioral Health Field, I’ve been working in close contact with kids from all walks of life.

Specializing in teenagers and young adults, I’ve been a career long supporter of “verbal de-escalation” and non-violent crisis intervention. I believe that what you say, and how you say it, are the keys to successful communication. I currently write about men's health topics, parenting and child abuse topics, and other social issues. You can visit my blog at www.ActingNotReacting.com

Tagged on: aging    food    hormonal    minerals    multi-mineral    multi-vitamin    nutrition    older    supplements    Vitamins

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