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Perhaps popping vitamins wasn’t always on your mind in your youth, but now it may be something worth thinking about. There are some nutrients that most women simply don’t get enough of over the age of 50, making supplements essential. The journey of aging can be a beautiful experience that should be embraced, however, there are some things that may not look or feel as effortless as they once did and taking supplements can make a positive difference. Below, we cover seven essential supplements women should take after the age of 50.
- Vitamin D
While great sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fatty fish and fortified foods like milk, less than 10 percent of women over the age of 50 get the recommended amount through food according to Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD. The benefits of getting enough vitamin D, however, include reducing your risk of developing colon, breast and esophageal cancers by 30 to 50 percent. It is recommended for people 50 to 70 years old to get 10 mcg daily (400 IU) daily, and those over 70 should get 15 mcg daily (600 IU).
With age comes the breaking down of bone tissue faster than it can be built, which makes this mineral vital for maintaining the normal functioning of muscles and nerves. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that more than two million broken bones occur in the U.S. due to osteoporosis, and for women, this is greater than that of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. While you can get your calcium from yogurt, cheese, almonds, tofu and green leafy vegetables, a dose of up to 500 mg twice a day may also be necessary.
*You don’t need to take an additional vitamin D supplement if it’s included in your calcium supplement.
As you age, your body is less capable of absorbing magnesium from food, making magnesium deficiency more common in older adults than younger ones, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination. Taking a multivitamin with up to 350 mg can significantly lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and even lower your blood pressure.
Try: Magnesium Glycinate
- B Vitamins
Though study findings are mixed, some research has found that B6, B12 and folate can lower your risk of developing heart disease and suffering from a stroke. Furthermore, between 10 and 20 percent of older Americans are incapable of absorbing B12 from food because the acid in your stomach diminishes. A multivitamin of folic acid, B6 and B12 is a healthful combo.
One of the main building blocks of the body, collagen makes up about 30 percent of your total body protein and 75 percent of your skin. While your body naturally produces it, the production begins to decline as you age. Collagen supports skin elasticity while keeping it supple and firm. It also makes your nails strong and shiny. By the age of 50, a woman may have lost up to half of the collagen in her skin, but taking collagen supplements can slow down and prevent the loss of further collagen. There are two forms of collagen supplements: hydrolyzed collagen and undenatured type II collagen. The recommended supplement intake of the former is 10g a day, while the latter is 40mg a day. We also love taking collagen in the form of powder which can be added to smoothies!
- Omega 3s
Getting enough omega-3s is important in preventing irregular heartbeats, plaque buildup in the arteries, inflammation and high blood sugar. Good food sources are flaxseed oil, salmon, walnuts and edamame. Omega-3s protect aging women against osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. The recommended dose is 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA omega-3s per day.
- Herbal Anti-Inflammatory
Aging is a progressive degenerative process that is closely connected with inflammation. And though the cause and effect is not completely clear, it is often thought that redox stress, mitochondrial damage, immunosenescence, endocrinosenescence, epigenetic modifications, and age-related diseases all highly contribute to this inflammation. There are a number of excellent anti-inflammatory herbs to take advantage of however, including 400 to 600 mg of turmeric extracts three times per day, 500 to 1,000 mg of ginger capsules twice a day with food, and two capsules of boswellin twice a day.
Try: Zyflamend Whole Body