Top 10 Supplements for Baby Boomers (INFOGRAPHIC)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by Ben H

What are the best, most important vitamins and supplements for seniors? Thanks for asking! We checked with our team of product specialists and in-house nutritionists, and we’ve come up with our own “Top 10” list. Check out the infographic below (feel free to share it, email it, pin it, embed it, etc...).

But be sure you read to the bottom... we included some longer explanations of each recommendation and included links to a few products that you might consider adding to your next order!

 

 

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<a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/health-news-and-opinion/top-supplements-baby-boomers-infographic" href="http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/health-news-and-opinion/top-supplements-baby-boomers-infographic"><img data-cke-saved-src="http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/60e1f3de-9022-4822-b04f-6e65a57f5d12/b173eee3-a702-490a-8971-f0479199b78f/Image/03d7ad86e6dd926348a217e930304218/baby_boomer_infographic.jpg" src="http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/60e1f3de-9022-4822-b04f-6e65a57f5d12/b173eee3-a702-490a-8971-f0479199b78f/Image/03d7ad86e6dd926348a217e930304218/baby_boomer_infographic.jpg" width="550" height="2958" border="0" alt="Vitamins for Baby Boomers Infographic" /></a><p>Created by the vitamin experts at <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.swansonvitamins.com" href="http://www.swansonvitamins.com">Swanson Health Products</a>.</p>

 

 

1. Ubiquinol (CoQ10)

 

  • What Is It?
    CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient found in every cell in your body. It is widely considered one of the most important non-vitamin nutrients for overall health. Ubiquinol is the “body-ready” and more efficient form of CoQ10.
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    It plays a key role in producing ATP, your body’s primary source of cellular energy. Ubiquinol is the reduced form that your body can more easily utilize.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    Natural production declines as you age, and although there is no set recommended daily intake value, servings of up to 200mg a day have been shown safe and effective.

 

 

2. Vitamin D

  • What Is It?
    Fat-soluble vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, the “Sunshine Vitamin”) is produced by your skin when exposed to sunlight.
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    It’s an essential vitamin for the growth, mineralization and maintenance of healthy bones, as it is necessary for calcium absorption. New research also points to potential immune health benefits.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    In response to continued research, the RDI was raised in 2010 from 200-400 IU to 600-800 IU per day. Many leading health professionals insist this recommendation is still too conservative.

 

 

3. Vitamin C

  • What Is It?
    A water-soluble vitamin, ascorbic acid is naturally produced by most animals...except humans. It was unofficially discovered in the 1500s by sailors who discovered citrus fruits helped prevent scurvy.
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    Vitamin C helps produce collagen, the main protein substance in your body’s tissues. It’s essential for healthy skin, gums, blood vessels, eyes, central nervous functioning and reproduction.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    The RDI is just 60 mg per day, but this is widely considered too low for maximum health benefits. Most health professionals recommend 250-500 mg per day.

 

 

4. Calcium & Magnesium

  • What Is It?
    Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body—99% of it is found in your bones. 
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    Along with maintaining healthy bones, calcium is crucial to enzymatic activity in your body. It’s required for muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve signal transmission and heartbeat regulation. Magnesium also plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and muscles, as well as cardiovascular health. Taken together, these two minerals are better absorbed and utilized by the body (plus, calcium alone can be constipating).
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    Most multivitamins will include calcium and magnesium, but at too low a dosage. Experts recommend calcium supplementation for all women (beginning during teenage years) and for most men over 50. For healthy adults, the RDI is 1,000-1,300 mg per day. For magnesium, aim for 400 mg per day.

 

 

5. Omega-3 EFAs (Fish Oil)

  • What Is It?
    The primary omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    Omega-3s are vital for healthy brain development in childhood, but for adults they’re also crucial for cognitive function as well as cellular defense, overall cardiovascular health and even joint function. EFA supplements are most commonly used to support healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    Again, there is no RDI for omega-3s, so all that’s out there are recommendations. What is known is the oils of fatty fish like salmon (even squid and krill oils) are the best sources of dietary omega-3s. There are vegetarian sources available, but the body may not utilize these fatty acids quite as easily. Recommendations range between 1 and 4 grams per day for healthy adults.

 

 

6. Glucosamine, Chondroitin + MSM

  • What Is It?
    Glucosamine is an amino acid. Chondroitin is a major component of cartilage tissues. And MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound. Together they form the “Big 3” for natural joint health and comfort.
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    The question should be how important is your mobility. These three natural nutrients play key roles in cartilage production and structural support/integrity, as well as facilitating the transportation of important fluids and nutrients in and around your joints. Unfortunately, Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM are not readily available in the typical Western diet.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    Studies have found beneficial effects at a variety of serving sizes, so it depends on the individual. Chances are good that your doctor will embrace the use of supplemental Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM and will work with you to tailor a proper dosage.

 

Fiber

7. Fiber

  • What Is It?
    Dietary fiber is nature’s cleansing and detoxification agent for your gastrointestinal tract. Fiber comes from plant foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes) that your body can't digest or absorb. There are two different types of fiber: soluble (will dissolve in water) and insoluble (won’t dissolve in water).
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    Fiber helps clean out excess waste and toxic buildup in your colon, as well as regulate bowel movements. It also promotes overall cardiovascular health. (Note: fiber supplements should not be taken at the same time as other supplements or medications, as fiber can reduce the absorption and effectiveness of these other products.)
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    The National Academy of Sciences recommends 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. For children, add five grams to the child's age (a 9 year old needs 14 grams of fiber).

 

 

8. Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Bilberry

  • What Is It?
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the only two carotenoids that your body chooses specifically for eye protection. These natural antioxidants combat eye-damaging free radicals. Bilberry is an herbal supplement that, along with lutein and zeaxanthin, is among the most widely researched nutrients for healthy vision.
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    Lutein and zeaxanthin, concentrated in the macula of your eye, provide antioxidant protection against oxidative stress and help filter out blue sunlight, potentially the most damaging wavelength of visible light. Bilberry has been credited for improving night vision (according to British air force pilots), but the evidence so far only shows a potential protective nourishment within the retina.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    While there is no Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for lutein, many experts suggest a minimum of 6-10 mg per day is needed for protective benefits to kick in. Speak with your doctor about the latest studies in vision health for an up-to-date and personal recommendation.

 

 

9. Probiotics

  • What Is It?
    Probiotics are friendly gut bacteria that help your body's natural enzymes (like protease, amylase and lipase) break down food so your body can make use of all the nutrients locked inside. The most common probiotic strains are Lactobacillus (acidophilus) and Bifidobacterium.
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    According to many health experts, most all health matters are related in some way to digestion and gastrointestinal health. Thus, probiotics make a great ally for your immune system as they work together to keep your body healthy and strong. And as a natural component of keeping your GI tract running smoothly, probiotics also promote colon health.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    There is a wide variety of potencies when it comes to probiotics. Some formulas include as many as 66 billion organisms per capsule. Do you need that much? The only way to know for sure is try one with good reviews from a reputable brand and see how your body responds. If you start high, chances are you can quickly lower dosages to what is commonly referred to as a “maintenance” dosage amount.
     

 

 

10.  Senior Multivitamin

  • What Is It?
    Multivitamin and mineral formulas are a good foundation to any dietary supplement program. They include basic amounts of the most important key nutrients your body needs to function. An age- and gender-specific formula is best. 
     
  • What Does It Do? (Why It’s Important)
    Multivitamins are the most basic supplement, and true to the word their role is simply supplementing a healthy diet with added nutrients, helping fill the occasional gap. The problem with modern diets is they are often lacking in quality nutrition. Plus, the soil in which our food is grown has been depleted and often overrun with chemical application, further robbing produce of its natural nutrients.
     
  • How Much Do You Need?
    Obviously, there is no RDI for a multi formula, so you’ll simply need to find one specified for your age group and gender. If you have special dietary needs, you will also want to take those into consideration when selecting a multivitamin.

 

 

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