The health and medical communities have long acknowledged the benefits of a daily multi-vitamin, particularly for those over the age of 50. Even Medicare has noted decreased costs in caring for patients who take daily multi-vitamins.
As we grow older, the absorption and digestion of proteins and minerals becomes more difficult leading to a variety of ailments such as osteoporosis, fatigue, and chronic illness.
We can go a long way towards addressing these concerns by seeking out a few basic nutrients and nutritional supplements. Two vitamins that are essential for anyone over 50 include vitamin B-12 and vitamin D.
VITAMIN B-12: Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutritional supplement for those over 50. Insufficient vitamin B-12 levels can lead to fatigue, brain fog, and a higher risk of heart disease.
Vitamin B-12 is particularly hard to absorb as we age, because we lack the biochemical called intrinsic factor. Because vitamin B-12 is difficult for the stomach to absorb, try taking it sublingually (as a lozenge, or as drops under the tongue) so that it can be absorbed through the mouth.
There are several types of vitamin B-12. The most common type, cyanocobalamin, is the least desirable because it does not cross the blood-brain barrier. Instead, look for methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin.
You might pick up a high quality vitamin B complex to take along with the vitamin B-12 to achieve a proper balance. A reasonable daily dose for vitamin B-12 is 500 micrograms (not milligrams). Vitamin B-12 is water soluble, so it is extremely unlikely that you will overdose on this vitamin.
VITAMIN D: Vitamin D is another essential nutritional supplement. Women who have optimal levels of vitamin D have approximately 50% decreased chance of breast cancer.
Studies have shown that most of the population living north of San Francisco is vitamin D deficient. If you live near the equator, then you can get enough vitamin D by going outside.
If you live in the north, you cannot get sufficient vitamin D from being in the sun during the winter months. During the summer months you can get enough vitamin D from 20 minutes per day of sun exposure between the hours of 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
Taking 2000 IU's of vitamin D 3 per day is reasonable.
Alternatively, you may take cod liver oil daily. Be sure to find quality oil free of toxins. A highly recommended brand is Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil.
Vitamin D toxicity has been a concern because it is a fat soluble vitamin. However, vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare. No cases have been documented of vitamin D toxicity from a daily dosage of 2000 IU's and not even from 4000 IU's per day.
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