As we age, we tend to pay more attention to things like vitamins, supplements, and other means of maintaining our health. While this is a good practice at any age, it is especially important for men over 50.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to function properly. They help us to maintain energy levels, keep our immune system strong, and protect our cells and tissues from damage. They also play a key role in developing and maintaining our joints, liver health, and more.
When thinking about which vitamins are essential for men over 50, it is important to consider both general health concerns and specific man-specific issues. Some of the most significant vitamins for men over 50 are things you might not be taking yet, so it is critical to consider adding them to your daily routine.
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
For many people, vitamin D is best known for its role in strong bones and teeth. But vitamin D also plays a critical role in overall health, especially as we get older. Vitamin D is essential because it helps your body absorb calcium from food. Without enough of this essential mineral, you may be at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become weak and brittle.
Furthermore, research has shown that vitamin D can help to prevent cancerous tumors from growing unchecked. Specifically, it helps to reduce the likelihood of prostate or breast cancers metastasizing (spreading) to other parts of the body.
Another benefit of vitamin D is that it can help you fight infections. According to one study, people who had low levels of vitamin D were more than three times as likely to contract a cold or flu compared with those whose levels were in healthy bounds.
Those who don't get enough vitamin D from sun exposure or diet may want to consider taking a supplement. Some effective sources of vitamin D include milk, eggs, seafood (especially salmon), and fortified foods like cereals and yogurts. If you don't do animal products, supplements like vitamin D3 are available over the counter.
A vitamin D deficiency may also increase the risk of age-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and memory loss. If you’re 50 or older and are not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight exposure or your diet – either because you live in a northern climate or because you avoid sunscreens – consider taking a supplement.
Calcium: The Mineral That Holds It All Together
Along with vitamin D, calcium is one of the most important minerals for overall health. Calcium helps to prevent bones from being lost prematurely due to osteoporosis and also plays a role in brain function, heart muscle function, blood clotting abilities, fertility, and more.
Even though we usually think of calcium as being an important mineral for young adults, it’s actually crucial for everyone over the age of 50. This is because by Age 50, our bodies have lost about one-third of its natural supply of calcium – making supplementation especially important.
Calcium supplements are available in various forms, including pills, chewable tablets, and even topical creams. You can also find calcium-fortified juices or cereals. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to drink milk to get enough calcium. In fact, some plant-based sources – such as leafy green vegetables and tofu – also contain adequate amounts of this mineral.
Vitamin B12: The Energy Vitamin
As we age, our metabolism slows down. This can lead to a decline in the level of energy that we have throughout the day. One way to combat this loss of energy is by ensuring that you are getting enough vitamin B12 – which helps to promote overall cellular health and normal nerve function.
B12 is important because it helps to create new red blood cells and DNA. Additionally, it helps to keep your cognitive function sharp as you age. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough vitamin B12 from their diet or from supplements.
Nowadays, there are several easy ways for you to boost your vitamin B12 levels. You can take a supplement, eat fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and multivitamins, or get injections of this nutrient.
If you’re 50 or older and are not getting enough vitamin B12 from your diet, speak with your physician about possible supplementation. You need around 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 per day to meet the standard recommended intake.
Vitamin A: The Eye Vitamin
As we age, our eyes can suffer from a number of problems. These include dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration (a condition in which the central part of your vision deteriorates).
Both conditions are associated with a decreased level of vitamin A – an essential nutrient for eye health. Studies have also shown that vitamin A can help to improve your vision by helping to prevent blindness from occurring early in life.
Furthermore, a deficiency of vitamin A may increase the risk for other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. That's why it is important for men over 50 to make sure they are getting enough vitamin A from their diet or supplements.
While foods like spinach and orange juice contain significant amounts of this nutrient, you may also want to consider taking a supplement if you aren’t getting the recommended levels through your regular dietary intake. You can find several forms of vitamin A supplements, including pills, liquids, and topical creams.
Magnesium: The Vital Nutrient for Men over 50
As we age, our magnesium levels may decrease. Magnesium is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth, helping to regulate blood sugar levels, moderating the effects of stress chemicals in the body, and fueling energy production throughout the day.
Not getting enough magnesium can lead to a number of health issues, including fatigue, insomnia, and a decline in mood and cognitive function. In addition to dietary sources of magnesium such as legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products, and green vegetables – some people also take supplements to combat deficiencies.
Supplemental magnesium is available in various forms depending on the condition you are combating. These include capsules, tablets, lozenges, and topical creams. You can also find magnesium-rich foods such as milk products fortified with this nutrient or nuts and seeds that are high in magnesium.
While ensuring you're getting the recommended dose of vitamins for men over 50 is important – especially when it comes to essential minerals – it's also important to include other essential nutrients into your daily routine. A balanced and healthy diet is the foundation of good health, so be sure to incorporate nutritious foods like these five vitamins into your regimen.
Other Important Vitamins For Men Over 50
- Vitamin C - For optimal immune system health
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids - For heart health, joint function, and more
- Probiotics - To support digestive health
- Vitamin E - For anti-inflammatory benefits
Are Multivitamins Effective?
Multivitamins are popular because they claim to be a way of getting the benefits of multiple vitamins and minerals. However, research suggests that multivitamins may not be as effective as many people believe them to be. This is because many multivitamins do not contain all of the nutrients that are advertised on the product label, and others may have less than optimal absorption levels. Therefore, taking a multivitamin is likely to provide only partial benefit if any at all, but they are still better than not taking any supplements at all.
Absorption of specific nutrients can vary depending on a person's body type, ethnic background, and other factors. Some people may not benefit from multivitamins because they do not get the full range of benefits that they are hoping for. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of how much you take in each day as some multivitamins have smaller quantities of nutrients than others.
For example, supplements that contain iron may work best when taken in conjunction with a vitamin C supplement to help increase absorption. This is because iron can interact adversely with some other essential vitamins and minerals, such as zinc or copper. Therefore, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplements if you are considering multivitamins for the first time.
How To Take Supplements Safely
In general, it is important to be mindful of how much you take in each day when taking supplements. Supplements can contain a wide range of ingredients, and some may interact with other medications that you are taking. It is also important to consult your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen as there can be potential side effects associated with taking certain supplements.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.