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Vitamins For Senior Citizens

You'd expect that by the time people reach the "golden years" they would understand the importance of eating nutritionally balanced meals. Unfortunately, being older frequently doesn't equate to being wiser when it comes to diet. The truth is that seniors often do not get the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to fight the onset of the degenerative issues that can accompany aging.

As we age, our bodies naturally become less efficient at using the nutrients we do ingest. Making things worse is the fact that seniors tend to take more medications than other age groups. Many of these medications negatively affect the body's usage of nutrients.

Many seniors live alone and don't feel like preparing nutritionally balanced meals for themselves. Add to that the fact that many of these same seniors don't exercise on a regular basis and it's no wonder they frequently show symptoms of various vitamin deficiencies.

Sufficient intake of Vitamin D is extremely important to seniors. It plays a large role in the body's ability to absorb calcium, which is required to keep bones healthy. Lacking calcium, bones become brittle and lose mass, which leads to osteoporosis. Many seniors do not consume enough dairy products or receive enough natural sunlight to ensure the body gets ample amounts of vitamin D.

Seniors are also susceptible to the oxidation damage caused by free radicals. These are unstable molecules that can run rampant throughout the body, destroying healthy cells. Oxidation is the same process that causes rusting of metal surfaces. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and restrict the amount of damage they cause. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants, containing a number of antioxidant vitamins such as A, C, and E, and beta carotene, but most seniors don't consume the necessary amounts. When cells become oxidized, seniors increase their risk of developing heart disease, arthritis, cataracts, Parkinson's disease, some cancers, and myriad other degenerative conditions. Also, as skin cells break down, skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag, wrinkle and look older.

The body also need Vitamin K, which plays a major role in keeping the blood clotting mechanism functioning, yet here again, many seniors don't get enough. A deficiency of Vitamin K has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin deficiencies play a part in a long list of ailments. Everyone, young or old, needs to realize how important it is to provide their bodies with the correct amount and combination of nutrients in order to maintain good health. If you're a senior citizen who's not getting the right mix of nutrients from diet, it may be necessary to supplement by taking a daily multi-vitamin. There are a number of options available that have been formulated to suit the specific dietary needs of older individuals.

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