News and Information

The Right Vitamins for Every Age

04-05-2016

The Right Vitamins for Every Age

The first step to a healthier lifestyle is creating a well-balanced diet made up of good-for-you foods, like whole grains and vegetables, and limiting your consumption of highly processed items. And while a rich diet can provide the necessary nutrients our bodies need to function, at times, a supplemental vitamin may be necessary to ensure our bodies are getting everything they should to function properly. Below, a look at the vitamins most commonly needed amongst each age group.

Infants - Some infants born premature can need additional Vitamin A, which is important for normal vision, as well as iron in order to prevent iron deficiency anemia and possibly becoming iron deficient. Different feeding styles also have different supplemental needs. For infants being breastfeed, might need Vitamin D add-on due to the lack of Vitamin D found in human’s milk. Infants six months and older may also need a zinc supplement. Although cow’s milk isn’t recommended for infants under one year, extra Vitamin C may be needed for infants not being fed formula or breast milk.

Children- The truth is, many people of across all age groups aren’t getting their recommended daily calcium but it’s especially low for boys aged 9-13 and girls aged 9-18. Needed to help build and maintain strong bones and teeth, calcium can be found naturally in milk, cheese, kale and broccoli, to name a few, but can also be taken in two forms of supplements: carbonate and citrate. In addition, teen girls who experience heavy periods may be at risk for low iron levels. The recommended 15 mg needed for girls ages 13-18 can be found in lean meat, nuts, beans, multivitamins and iron-specific supplements.

Adults– Postmenopausal women, particularly over the age of 50, may need to incorporate a calcium supplement into their diet since they experience greater bone loss and don’t absorb calcium as well as when they were younger. Additionally, women who are pregnant or experience heavy periods may consider an iron supplement to combat the possibility of an iron deficiency, which can lead to increased tiredness and a lack of energy. While most people get their recommended daily intake of B12 in the food they eat, anywhere from 1.5 – 15 percent of the population may have trouble absorbing the B12 from the food it’s found in. And because adults over the age of 50 typically do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach, that absorption rate can be even more difficult so a supplement that is easily absorbed can be recommended. Lastly, adults who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery may benefit from a Vitamin K or Zinc supplement.

Seniors – Like middle-aged women, men over the age of 70 may require additional calcium in their day-to-daysince efficiency of absorption decreases with age. Adults over the age of 70 should look to intake 1200 mg of calcium each day. In addition, magnesium, typically found in legumes, nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt and other milk products could also be lacking in men over 70. Look for multivitamin-minerals and other magnesium-focused supplements to help reach the recommended 400-420 mg needed per day.

Vitamins, combined with proper nutrition and regular exercise, can assist you in developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Always consult with your doctor before adding any new vitamins, minerals or other supplements to your routine.

Looking for a supplement to your exercise routine and new healthy habits? Sign up for the CaroMont Community challenge on May 14 and join your community on the road to health. For more information and to sign up to participate, visit www.caromontcommunitychallenge.com or contact Meghan Marr at meghan.marr@caromonthealth.org.