10 Vitamins Every Older Adult Should Take

10 Vitamins Every Older Adult Should Take

Older people need to make an extra effort to consume a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals, as deficiencies in certain nutrients become more common as we age. But how do we know which nutrients are most important for older adults to be consuming?

We've compiled a list of 10 vitamins for older adults that are a necessary part of any healthy diet. By the end of this article, you'll better understand which nutrients you may need to get from dietary supplements to support your health as you age.

1. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient that we all need to stay healthy, but maybe particularly important for older people to take.

Studies show that the dietary requirements for vitamin B6 are higher in older adults. As we age, our ability to absorb nutrients decreases, making us more susceptible to deficiencies.

Side effects of vitamin B6 deficiency

Older adults need to get enough vitamin B6 in their diet, as side effects of low B6 levels include:

  • Scaling on lips
  • Cracks on corners of the mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Depression and confusion 
  • Weakened immune system
  • Vision problems

Because many older adults aren't consuming enough food sources rich in vitamin B6 to support their nutrition, they may need to take dietary supplements to fulfill this nutritional gap.

2. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in nervous system function and red blood cell production. 

However, studies show that older adults have a more challenging time absorbing this nutrient, which is why vitamin B12 deficiency is so common among the elderly.

Side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency

Older adults who aren't consuming enough vitamin B12 are at a higher risk of experiencing side effects such as:

  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Memory loss
  • High blood sugar

Anyone entering old age should consider adding a dietary supplement to their diet to help their bodies absorb more vitamin B12. 

Luckily, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan vitamin B12 supplement designed to support nervous system health in all age groups.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient most known for its role in bone health, which is especially important for older adults.

Multiple studies show that vitamin D plays a role in preventing diseases associated with aging, especially ones involving skeletal health. This is because vitamin D is necessary for maintaining our bone mineral density, which is something this age demographic typically needs support.

But that's not all - research also tells us that this nutrient plays a role in cardiovascular health. Hence, the recommended intake of this nutrient for older adults is higher than in other demographics.

Side effects of vitamin D deficiency

Older adults not getting enough vitamin D in their diet may have an increased risk of:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteopenia
  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Bone loss
  • Fractures
  • Muscle aches or weakness
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Because older adults are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiencies, supplementation may be necessary to avoid these side effects.

FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan vitamin D3 supplement designed to support a healthy vascular system.

4. Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that works with vitamin D to support healthy bones, making it particularly important for older adults to consume an adequate amount.

Research tells us that calcium is an essential component of bone health. A deficiency in this nutrient negatively impacts bone mineral density in the elderly.

Side effects of hypocalcemia

Hypocalcemia, or calcium deficiency disease, may result in the following side effects:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteopenia
  • Fatigue
  • Eye damage
  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet

That's why many older adults take calcium supplements to ensure proper intake of this essential nutrient.

5. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that becomes even more important for us to consume as we age.

One study found that vitamin E status is associated with immune function and quality of life in the elderly. This means that older adults with low levels of vitamin E are more likely to have poor immune health and get sick more often.

Side effects of vitamin E deficiency

The side effects of vitamin E deficiency include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle damage
  • Muscle visions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weakened immune system

Older adults should eat enough foods rich in vitamin E to support their health or take vitamin E supplements for proper nutrition.

6. Vitamin K

Vitamin K is responsible for blood coagulation, making it an essential nutrient for older adults to consume regularly.

Studies show that vitamin K plays a role in preventing age-related diseases. But how exactly does it work?

Well, there are two types of vitamin K: K1 and K2. 

Both are necessary for blood clotting, but vitamin K2 offers specific benefits to older adults' bone and heart health.

Side effects of vitamin K deficiency

Older adults who aren't consuming enough vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 may experience the following side effects:

  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Excessive bruising
  • Bone pain
  • Bone loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteopenia
  • Fractures

Vitamin K2 deficiencies are widespread, so FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan vitamin K2 supplement designed to support healthy hearts and bones for all ages. 

7. Iron

Iron is a mineral that's especially necessary for older adults to consume adequate amounts.

That's because, according to studies, iron deficiency is a common disorder in the elderly. It's the second most common cause of anemia in this age category.

Side effects of iron deficiency anemia

Older adults who aren't consuming enough iron may experience side effects such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Soreness of tongue or mouth
  • Cold hands and feet

That's why older adults with low iron levels should consider adding a daily iron supplement to their diet to ensure proper intake of this mineral.

8. Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that we all need to support our health, especially older adults.

Research shows that our ability to metabolize magnesium decreases as we get older, resulting in magnesium deficiency. This is a real problem, as magnesium is known for preventing oxidative stress and chronic conditions associated with aging.

Side effects of magnesium deficiency

Side effects associated with magnesium deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood pressure

Older adults not consuming enough magnesium from their diet may need to take a dietary supplement to prevent these side effects.

9. Iodine

We should all be making an effort to consume iodine, a vital mineral for thyroid health.

Studies show that long-term iodine nutrition is associated with a longer life span in older adults. The best time to increase your iodine intake is as soon as possible.

Side effects of iodine deficiency

The side effects of an iodine deficiency include:

  • Goiter (swelling in the neck)
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Irregularities in weight
  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Lower body temperature
  • Depression

Older adults should ensure they're consuming enough iodine to support a long, healthy life.

Luckily, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan iodine supplement designed to support thyroid function and support our overall health.

10. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for older adults to consume enough.

That's because studies show that consumption of these fatty acids is effective in preventing several negative consequences of aging.

Side effects of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency

Older adults not consuming enough fatty acids may experience side effects such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Heart problems
  • Poor circulation 
  • Depression

Anyone not getting enough omega 3's from their diet should consider taking fish oil supplements to support their health better.

Trusted sources

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  10. Riis J, Pedersen KM, Danielsen MB, Sørensen GVB, Jørgensen MG, Andersen SL, Carlé A, Pedersen IB, Torp-Pedersen C, Andersen S. Long-term iodine nutrition is associated with longevity in older adults: a 20 years' follow-up of the Randers-Skagen study. Br J Nutr. 2021 Feb 14;125(3):260-265. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520001592. Epub 2020 May 7. PMID: 32378500.
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