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Types of vitamins and minerals for older adults

Team AckoNov 28, 2022

Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play a huge role in maintaining bodily functions. Not consuming a balanced diet can lead to poor nutrition. It can further result in a problem called malnutrition. This can cause health issues such as anaemia, weak immune system, delayed healing and recovery, increased risk of death, decreased bone mass, and muscle weakness. The key to good ageing is ensuring the consumption of a nutritious diet that contains the right number of vitamins and minerals, and following a healthy lifestyle. This article talks about the different types of vitamins and minerals for older adults.

Types Of Vitamins And Minerals For Older Adults

Contents

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What are vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are the necessary nutrients that the body needs in minimal quantity to stay healthy and function properly. They have a range of roles to play, which are as follows.

  • Help produce energy.

  • Support the body's metabolism. 

  • Help resist infections.

  • Maintain fluid balance in the body.

  • Repair the damaged cells and tissues.

  • Help fight the battle against ageing.

There are different types of vitamins and minerals, which are found in a variety of food items. Also, they are available in supplement form. It is always better to get them from a nutritious diet and only take supplements if your doctor or a registered dietitian recommends any.

Measurements for vitamins and minerals

Both of these nutrients are measured in the following ways.

Mg: Milligram: 1 mg is ¹/₁₀₀₀ of g

Mcg: Microgram: 1 mg is equal to 1000 mcg

IU: International unit: its conversation depends on type of vitamin 

Important vitamins and minerals for older adults

Here is the list of different types of vitamins and minerals people above 51 years need in their diet.

Vitamin A (Retinol): It supports the immune system and maintains healthy vision.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 900 mcg and for women is 700 mcg.

  • Food sources: Cheese, eggs, milk, mangoes, sweet potato, broccoli and carrots.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): It is essential for growth and development. It boosts energy production, prevents kidney and circulation problems. 

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 1.2 mg and for women is 1.1 mg.

  • Food sources: Whole-grain cereals, meat, legumes, rice, potatoes, nuts, and pork.

Vitamin B2(Riboflavin): It reduces inflammation of nerves and helps the body convert food into energy.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 1.3 mg and for women is 1.1 mg.

  • Food sources: Asparagus, yoghurt, fish and other seafood, broccoli, milk, eggs and fortified foods.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): It helps control cholesterol, boost brain function and keep the digestive system and nervous system healthy. 

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 16 mg and for women is 14 mg.

  • Food sources: Grains, brown rice, nuts, legumes, fish, bananas, red meat, fortified cereals and poultry.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): It is essential for normal brain development and it promotes the production of serotonin hormones, which control mood.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 1.7 mg and for women is 1.5 mg.

  • Food sources: Chickpeas, fortified cereals, fish, dark leafy greens, bananas, cantaloupe, and papayas.

Vitamin B9 (Folate): It is important for the production of certain proteins and the formation of red blood cells. 

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men and women is 400 mcg.

  • Food sources: Nuts, peas, eggs, fresh fruits, fortified foods, beans, dark-green leafy vegetables, and peanuts.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): It plays a vital role in the function of nerve and brain cells.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men and women is 2.4 mcg.

  • Food sources: Milk, eggs, red meat, fortified breakfast cereals, yoghurt, fish and poultry.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): It boosts wound healing and helps ward off various infections and diseases.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 75 mg and for women is 90 mg.

  • Food sources: Pineapple, citrus fruits, leafy green, tomatoes, potatoes, papaya, kale and cayenne peppers.

Vitamin D (Calciferol): It is critical for building bone and also plays an imperative role in the immune system and nervous systems.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men and women aged 51 to 70 is 15 mcg and above 70 is 20 mcg. Taking Vitamin D more than 100 mcg per day can cause harmful effects on health.

  • Food sources: Fortified cereals and milk products, fatty fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms, egg yolks.

  • You can also get Vitamin D through sun exposure.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol): It strengthens the immune system and is important for brain, heart, eyes, and skin health.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men and women is 15 mg.

  • Food sources: Spinach, broccoli, almonds, soybean oil, mango, red bell pepper, peanuts and asparagus.

Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) and Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone): It is crucial for blood clotting and bone building.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 120 mcg and for women is 90 mcg.

  • Food sources: Green vegetables, egg yolks, meat, figs, fermented soybeans, and canola oil.

Calcium: It is an essential mineral that lowers the risk of developing colon cancer and osteoporosis. It helps maintain healthy bones and teeth.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men and women aged 51  to 70 is 1000 mg and above 70 is 1200 mg. Consuming Calcium more than 2,000 mg per day can be harmful to health.

  • Food sources: Dark-green leafy vegetables, dairy products, soybeans, bread, or anything made with fortified flour.

Potassium: It supports normal blood pressure and prevents bone loss.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 3,400 mg and for women is 2,600 mg.

  • Food sources: Broccoli, banana, yoghurt, orange, avocados, milk, strawberries, nuts, legumes, and potatoes.

Magnesium: It is important for many bodily functions and keeps the heart and bone strong.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men is 420 mg and for women is 320 mg.

  • Food sources: Dark-green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, beans, fortified cereals and milk.

Sodium: Human body needs it in a small quantity to maintain the proper balance of minerals and water. It is also essential for many bodily functions, including nutrient absorption.

  • The recommended daily dietary intake for men and women is 2,300 mg. Those with high blood pressure should reduce its intake to 1,500 mg per day.

  • Food sources: Fresh vegetables and fruits, milk, bread, soups, sandwiches, eggs, and savoury snacks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Listed below are the common queries and their answers related to vitamins and minerals for older adults.

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Why are vitamins and minerals important for older adults?

Both of these nutrients play a vital role in maintaining bodily functions. They support bone health, boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of developing numerous health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.

Which vitamin deficiency is common in the elderly?

The most common deficiencies found in older people are Vitamin D and Vitamin B12.

Why are elderly individuals at risk of nutritional deficiency?

Ageing is associated with a decline in bodily functions, which can significantly influence nutritional status. Medications and a sedentary lifestyle can also make them become nutrient deficient. Not getting an adequate amount of nutrients directly impacts the quality of life and mortality. That is why it is imperative for elderly people to consume a nutritious diet to stay healthy. 

Which physical changes commonly affect older people's nutrition?

Here’s a list of the common physical changes in older people that affect their nutritional needs.

  • Less lean body mass

  • Slower metabolism

  • Decreased number of taste buds

  • Reduced appetite

  • Sedentary lifestyle

References

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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