The 10 Vitamins and Supplements Every Baby Boomer Should Take

By Roy Krebs

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As a baby boomer, you might find it uncomfortable to contemplate the fact that you are getting into your senior years. 

You may feel young at heart, and that’s a great thing. 

Still, there's no denying it: you're finding yourself getting senior discounts, navigating pension and retirement plans, and watching your grandchildren grow up.

You might also notice other inevitable effects of aging: your joints creak, you tire easily, and you just can't move around like you used to. 

Perhaps you have had some age- or lifestyle-related illnesses rear their ugly heads.

So, what's the solution? A healthy diet, reasonable exercise, and drinking plenty of fresh water are important, but they alone are not enough to truly combat and alleviate the symptoms of aging.

Why Seniors Like You Need Supplements

Aging is a part of life, but does growing old have to be painful, crippling, or plagued with illness?

Supplements are useful in easing the consequences of becoming older.

They can contribute to retaining muscle function, thereby being less prone to falls. They can also reduce physical frailty and improve the effects of exercise. [1, 2]

Supplements are also beneficial when it comes to cardiovascular health, cholesterol, and inflammation. [3]

The list of scientifically proven benefits goes on and on. So, if you aren’t taking supplements yet, it might be best to get into the habit to give yourself the best chance at a healthy post-retirement life.

Top 10 Supplements Every Baby Boomer Should Take

The vast and ever-increasing array of vitamins and supplements filling the supermarket aisles and pharmacies can be overwhelming to say the least.

So what are the best types of supplements for seniors?

Luckily, there's plenty of research behind this issue and the results are out. [4, 5]

These 10 supplements are safe and effective, and, when taken regularly, can enhance our comfort and well-being as we move into our later years.  

1) Glucosamine, Chondroitin + MSM

Glucosamine is an amino acid, Chondroitin is a component of cartilage tissues, and MSM is a natural sulfur compound.

Blended together, these nutrients, which are not abundant in the average Western diet, support natural joint health and comfort.  

How? 

Glucosamine, Chondroitin + MSM help your body produce cartilage.  

Joints require nutrients and special fluids to remain mobile, and this compound helps transport these essential materials to the joints.

How much you should take really depends on your specific needs. If you have any doubts, especially in relation to other medications, consult with a pharmacist or doctor to find the most effective dosage.

2) Calcium and Magnesium

You probably already know that calcium and magnesium are essential for healthy bones and muscles.

But did you know that calcium is also integral to enzyme activity? 

The specific enzymes that need calcium are responsible for contracting muscles, clotting blood, maintaining a healthy heartbeat, and transmitting correct nerve signals (all vital for baby boomers' active lifestyles).

Magnesium may also help with cardiovascular health. It assists the body in absorbing and using the calcium, so the two minerals are best taken together.

The required dosage to best assist with all the above-mentioned vital functions is generally much more than is available in an ordinary multivitamin.

Experts recommend calcium supplementation for all women and for most men over 50.

For healthy adults, the recommended daily intake is 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams per day and for magnesium, the effective dosage is recommended at 400 milligrams per day.

Related: Magnesium-Which Type Should You Take For Maximum Benefits?

3) Ubiquinol (Coenzyme Q10)

Ubiquinol is found in all the cells of the human body. It is now thought of as one of the most essential non-vitamin nutrients for general health. [6]

Ubiquinol is the reduced and most easily absorbed form of Coenzyme Q10. This nutrient assists in the formation of ATP, which is the body's source of energy at the cellular level.

The production of this vital nutrients declines with age, so taking an additional serving of up to 200 milligrams a day is a safe and effective way to boost energy levels.

Related: 5 Ways To Improve Your Health By Boosting Mitochondria

4) Vitamin C

You probably heard about the benefits of vitamin C. What you might not know is that humans do not produce it naturally, so we must obtain it from outside sources.

While we can get some vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, it may not always be possible to get optimal amounts from diet alone. 

Why is it important? 

Vitamin C helps your body produce sufficient amounts of collagen. Collagen is the primary protein substance that makes up your body’s tissues, and it tends to break down as we age. 

Most health professionals recommend taking an extra 250 to 500 milligrams of Vitamin C per day for healthy skin, blood vessels, gums, eyes, and central nervous system.

5) Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound and an essential vitamin that helps your bones grow and maintains their healthy function by adding in calcium absorption.

Research also indicates it is useful for the immune system and aids healthy sleep.

One of the most important and common forms of vitamin D is vitamin D3, produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight.

It is easy to think that sunshine gives us enough of this vital nutrient. However, most people require an additional supplement and the current recommended daily intake is between 600 and 1000 IU per day. 

6) Omega-3 EFA (Fish Oil)

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) have seen a rise in popularity in recent years due to their inclusion in many food products and the subsequent marketing hype around it.

The most useful forms of omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

Both are important for brain function, cardiovascular health, cellular defence, cholesterol management and joint health.

There is no official recommended daily intake for omega-3 EFAs, so again, if necessary, consult with the pharmacist or doctor.

However, the usual recommendation is to use high-quality fish oil and take somewhere between one and four grams each day.

It is possible to obtain vegetarian sources of omega 3's as well. So, if you oppose the idea of consuming fish oil, you can still benefit from it by eating chia seeds, Brussels sprouts, and other similar plant sources. [7]

Related: 10 Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Foods (Plus How To Use Them)

7) Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Bilberry

It's normal for eyes to weaken as we grow older. The good news is that a daily does of Lutein and Zeaxanthin (L & Z) can help to slow or even prevent this. 

They are natural antioxidants which fight against eye-damaging free radicals by helping to filter out blue sunlight, one of the more damaging light wavelengths.

Bilberry is a very well-known herb for maintaining healthy vision, including (unsubstantiated) reports of improvement in night vision. [8]

Health advisors suggest taking a minimum of 6 to 10 milligrams of L & Z per day to activate their protective benefits.

For optimal eye health try Natural Stacks Eye Defense™. It contains the therapeutically-studied doses of lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A and vitamin E for eye support at any age.

If your eye health is failing, of course, consult with a doctor or specialist to ensure optimum care.

8) Fiber

The gastrointestinal tract needs dietary fiber to clean and detoxify the waste in the colon. You can obtain fiber from indigestible plant foods that the body cannot absorb.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are useful for regulating bowel movements, but each plays a different role.

Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in your gut to slow digestion, whereas insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps it pass quicker through your digestive system. [9]

It is important to note that fiber supplements should not be taken at the same time as other supplements and medications because it can interfere with the absorption and reduce their effectiveness.

The recommended dose is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.

Try Natural Stacks Prebiotic+ for a complete prebiotic solution for optimal gut health.

9) Probiotics

Probiotics are helpful gut bacteria that help the natural enzymes in your gut break down food.

Doing this allows your body to use nutrients more effectively.

Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus (acidophilus) are two of the most common strains of these bacteria, which are essential for good digestion and a robust gastrointestinal system.

Good digestive function aids the immune system, which is vital for keeping harmful bacteria and viruses at bay and ensuring a strong and healthy body.

There is a huge range of potencies in probiotic products. It is difficult to know how much is sufficient. 

Ensure your colon is clear of disease before investing in probiotics. There is no point in planting flowers before you eliminate the weeds, so check with your doctor that your gastrointestinal tract is in good condition.

10) Senior Multivitamin

Some believe that multivitamins aren’t necessary, but the truth is that the modern diet often lacks high-quality nutrients. 

Why?

Mostly due to poor soil quality and the overuse of chemicals. It's also due to our over-reliance on highly processed and fast foods. 

Adding senior multivitamins to your daily diet is like taking out a little insurance policy for good health.

It is important to choose a multivitamin that is specific for age and gender, as it will contain key nutrients useful for improved body function.

Senior Health: Prevention is the Best Defence 

The adage "prevention is better than cure" is most appropriate in discussing the aging process.

"Cure" means illness is already present. "Cure" means doctors, medication, and hospitals.

No baby boomer wants to be locked into that endless cycle of medications, doctor's visits, and eventual hospitalization.

The unending search for treatment is the stuff of nightmares, but it is, unfortunately, very real for many seniors.

With it comes the attendant giant pillboxes filled with multicolored daily doses coupled with the attempts to sort out indications and contraindications – not exactly what we envision when we think of our “golden years.”

Scientists, government agencies, and health officials all agree that the increasing financial, emotional and physical cost of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke is a huge burden to society.

They also all agree that many age-related diseases are preventable if we:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Visit our doctor at least once a year
  • Limit consumption of caffeine, alcohohol
  • Maintain an exercise regime that includes 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity every other day  
  • Generally stay active
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Eat whole foods
  • Stay away from high fat, high-sugar, and preservative-laden foods  
  • Limit stress

Taking supplements like the ones listed here can help our bodies stay strong in our golden years, help us fight disease and provide a whole host of other health benefits.

If that isn't that a recipe for a graceful and stress-free baby-boomer journey into the senior years, then what is?

How have you been keeping yourself active and healthy as a baby boomer in your senior years?

 

 

 

1. Pfeifer, M et al. Effects of a long-term vitamin D and calcium supplementation on falls and parameters of muscle function in community-dwelling older individuals. Osteoporosis International, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 315–322.

2. Fiatarone, Maria A. et al. Exercise Training and Nutritional Supplementation for Physical Frailty in Very Elderly People. N Engl J Med 1994; 330:1769-1775.

3. Qureshi, Asaf A. et al. Suppression of Nitric Oxide Production and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Healthy Seniors and Hypercholesterolemic Subjects by a Combination of Polyphenols and Vitamins. J Clin Exp Cardiolog. 2012 Jun 7; Suppl 5: 008.

4. Institute of Medicine. 2005. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

5. "Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet." Mayo Clinic

6.  "What Is Ubiquinone?" Everyday Health

7. "17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids." Healthline, June 18, 2017. 

8. "Herbal supplements: What to know before you buy." Mayo Clinic.

9. "Soluble vs. insoluble fiber." Medline Plus

 

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