Best Multivitamin For Seniors
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Do you know what the best multivitamin for seniors is? As we age, our bodies change, and we may need different nutrients than when we were younger.
A good multivitamin can help ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
We’ll discuss the best multivitamins for seniors and review some of the top brands in this post. We’ll also share a few tips on how to choose the right multivitamin for you. Let’s get started!
- Taking a multivitamin can help you ensure that you are getting the nutrients that are missing from your diet, helping to prevent deficiencies and related health problems.
- Not everybody needs a multivitamin, and you don’t have to choose a vitamin explicitly marketed for seniors.
- Seniors should look for vitamins with the USP or NSF seal of approval and those that contain levels of vitamin D, calcium, and other essential nutrients for the aging process.
Why Should Seniors Take Multivitamins?
There are a few reasons why you might want to take a multivitamin to support a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle – even if you are already in good health. Here are some of the most significant.
Multivitamins provide extra nutrients exactly where you need them.
The best way to get the nutrients you need is by eating various healthy foods. Your goal should be to eat a balanced diet that addresses all of your nutritional needs and gives your body the essential nutrients it needs.
The reality is that it’s not always possible to include enough variety in our everyday diets.
Multivitamins help fill in the gaps in your diet by supplementing the minerals and vitamins your body needs to thrive.
Plus, certain medications, like proton pump inhibitors or other medicines to reduce stomach acid, can affect how well your body metabolizes nutrients from food. Another good reason to consider vitamins!
While no multivitamin will prevent you from catching or developing every single type of disease that’s out there, some can help you fight off infectious diseases more effectively. Certain nutrients strengthen your immune system and improve your body’s ability to fight infections – like vitamin C – so supplementing may reduce your risk of infection.
Most multivitamins – especially those that tend to be marketed toward seniors – contain high levels of calcium and vitamin D. This can improve your bone health, prevent bone loss, and even the health of your teeth.
Finally, most multivitamins contain vitamins and minerals meant to enhance cognitive functioning and efficiency. This can be helpful for anybody, but especially for older people showing signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or general cognitive decline.
Cons of Taking a Multivitamin
While multivitamins offer numerous benefits to seniors, unfortunately, they shouldn’t be used as a panacea for absolutely everything. While they can be incredibly helpful, there aren’t many added benefits in otherwise healthy adults who consume balanced diets.
Multivitamins won’t prevent diseases or help you live longer, especially not if you aren’t taking steps to ensure that the rest of your lifestyle is equally as healthy as your vitamin routine.
In some cases, taking multivitamins (particularly taking multivitamins incorrectly) can lead to issues like vomiting, headaches, and nausea.
5 Top Choices: Best Multivitamin for Seniors
No single brand of multivitamin will be the best multivitamin for seniors. In fact, some are marketed as “senior-specific” products, but really, you don’t have to buy a multivitamin that’s marketed toward seniors. Just read the ingredients to make sure it has all the important nutrients you want.
Otherwise, consider these top five picks as you’re shopping for the right multivitamin. It’s a great place to get started!
1. Thorne Research Women’s Multi 50+
While this multivitamin is a bit more on the expensive side, it’s offered by one of the most reputable dietary supplements brands in the country. It offers those who take it an excellent source of magnesium along with 18% of your daily value of calcium. It has 180 micrograms of magnesium (42% of your DV).
2. Equate Complete 50+
Another complete multivitamin to consider is this generic option by Equate. It has 1000 IU of vitamin D3 and dozens of other essential vitamins and minerals, too (including potassium, which can sometimes be hard to find in a multivitamin).
It’s often compared to Centrum Silver, a household brand that, though effective, is considerably more expensive than this one.
3. CVS Health Spectravite Adult 50+
This generic multivitamin can be found at any CVS store and offers more than 125% of your daily value of vitamin D. It also has 22% of your calcium, making it an essential pick for adults older than 70 (who need far more calcium and vitamin D than their younger counterparts).
4. Member’s Mark 50+
This multivitamin for men is a discount option that, despite its price, doesn’t cut any corners! It contains all the nutrients you need in order to thrive as an aging male, like vitamin C, D, A, and E. It also has vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and calcium.
5. One a Day Women’s 50+
For older women going through menopause, this One a Day multivitamin to be incredibly helpful. It has 12% of your daily needs of magnesium along with 23% of your calcium.
It also has 1000 IU of vitamin D. It doesn’t contain iron, which is a nutrient that is not recommended after menopause.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Multivitamin
When shopping for a multivitamin, always talk to your healthcare provider first. He or she will help you determine whether you are getting the right amount of nutrients from your food and if a multivitamin is even necessary, often by doing a blood test.
They might have you avoid a multivitamin entirely and just supplement with single nutrients instead. Of course, a doctor will also be able to warn you if your multivitamin is interacting with any other medications you might be taking.
Vitamins and Minerals
It’s easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed by looking at the long list of important vitamins and minerals included in your multivitamin – but it’s important to read the list closely.
Vitamins marketed toward older adults may have lower levels of iron with more B12 and vitamin D. They might even contain unusual herbs targeted toward energy and memory, like ginkgo biloba.
While your unique needs and preferences might vary, it’s important to look for a multivitamin that at least meets the following nutrient needs:
- Vitamin B 12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid)
- Vitamin C
A multivitamin supplement might contain a wide variety of other ingredients, too, including additional B vitamins, vitamin K, collagen, and more.
The FDA, or Food and Drug Administration, does not approve vitamin supplements such as multivitamins as it does other medications. However, there are other independent organizations that regulate the market and set their own standards for quality.
Try to find a label that’s approved by the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). These groups both work hard to ensure that the multivitamins and other supplements they certify are free of harmful ingredients like heavy metals and that the vitamin daily values and amounts are accurate.
Choose a multivitamin from a reputable brand and always check for third-party certification from one of the organizations listed above.
Follow the dosage instructions on your vitamins to a T. Make sure you never increase the dose in your daily routine without consulting your doctor.
Also, only try one new supplement at a time as you dabble in vitamin and mineral supplementation, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions and are only taking enough vitamins to improve your general health. This will give you time to clearly see how your body reacts and whether you are having any allergic reactions.
Antioxidants, Probiotics, and Other Features
Some multivitamins may contain “bonus” features like antioxidants and probiotics. Both can be helpful. Antioxidants can slow the aging process and improve the health of your skin. Probiotics help in digestion and microbe balance, even helping to boost your immunity.
You may even be able to find vitamins to take on a daily basis that meets other needs – such as those that are gluten-free!
Natural and Organic?
You may see the term “natural” listed in a vitamin description. While this doesn’t necessarily spell disaster, it shouldn’t be used as a hallmark of a product’s quality or safety. “Natural” is not a regulated term and any product can include it in its branding.
Always research the brand name and reputation. Avoid products with unrealistic claims to heal and treat health conditions.
There’s no harm in choosing a multivitamin brand that includes mostly fruit and vegetable extracts (which would be considered more “natural”) or one that is organic (a term that is heavily regulated) but you don’t need to spend extra money doing this. The alternatives work just as well!
The Bottom Line
Always talk to your doctor before taking any kind of supplement, including the multivitamins listed above. While multivitamins are readily available over the counter, some can be dangerous when mixed with certain medications. According to the FDA, warfarin combined with vitamin E can cause a stroke.
Talk to your doctor about whether taking a multivitamin is a good idea for you – and see which is the best multivitamin for seniors like you!