Friday, January 29, 2010

Vitamins for Seniors

Research suggests there may be increased vitamin needs in elderly people; however, no definite proof that vitamin supplements increase the life span has been offered. Many elderly Americans obtain less than 50 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of VITAMIN antihypertensive drugs interfere with absorption of this vitamin. Folic acid and vitamin B12 are less well absorbed in elderly persons, and the RDAs should be higher. Inadequate diet and decreased uptake of fat-soluble vitamins probably account for the increased need for VITAMIN A and VITAMIN E with aging, and extra vitamin E may boost immunity, thus helping elderly persons resist disease. Vitamin E has also shown promise in slowing decline in mental functioning in the elderly. One study showed that people who took high amounts of vitamin E had a 70 percent reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In another study researchers followed more than 2,800 people over the age of 65 for three years. Those participants who had the highest amount of vitamin E consumption showed the slowest decline in mental alertness. Vitamin D requirements may increase during aging because the skin gradually loses its ability to manufacture the vitamin. Patients with hip fractures may be deficient in vitamin D. Another problematic nutrient for elderly people is VITAMIN C, a versatile antioxidant. Consumption may be low with diets relying on processed, overcooked foods and lacking adequate fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C may protect against cataracts and atherosclerosis.
The RDA for RIBOFLAVIN is believed to be too low for elderly people. Geriatric outpatients can exhibit low-THIAMIN levels and evidence suggests that RDA of this critical nutrient is greater for older people than for middle-aged individuals.

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