Vitamins

 

Vitamins

The best way of getting the vitamins and minerals that you need is to eat a healthy balanced diet.

Over 50 – You May Need To Supplement

vitamins

One of the most important things that vitamins do is aid in our biological processes; they help in the absorption of other essential nutrients like minerals and in the production of hormones; they give us protection from free radicals and help release energy from food.

Vitamins A, D E and K are fat soluble which are stored in the body, this means that we need to take less. These can build up in the body if we take too much.

The B groups and C vitamins are water soluble and pass through the body rapidly. These should be topped up daily.

 

Minerals (macro and micro)

  • Minerals are utilized in every tissue and crucial to over 600 enzymes.
  • Macro-minerals are minerals needed in very large doses of more than 100mg per day
  • Micro-minerals are minerals needed in much smaller quantities.

Minerals are present in soil and are readily absorbed by plants, when we or any other animals eat the plant the minerals are transferred. If we eat the animal which has consumed the plant we also benefit from the mineral.

Because of this, the mineral content in our food is affected by where the plant grows, how the plant is grown and what our “food supply” animals are fed.

 

Vitamins A-Z

The A-Z guide will give you an understanding of the vitamins and minerals you may need. If you have a condition such as cancer or diabetes you may have very specific nutritional needs and some medications can react adversely with dietary supplements.

Because of this be sure to talk with your pharmacist or doctor before taking any form of dietary supplement.

Abbreviations: IU=international units, MG=milligrams, MCG=micrograms

 

Vitamin A

 

vitamin A

 

How much?

Men: 900 mcg. Women: 700 mcg

Why?

Good for immune system health and promotes good vision

Remember

  • Vitamin A as beta carotene is best, vitamin A as retinoic acid or retinol may increase the risk of bone fractures.

Food sources 

sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, squash, lettuce, apricots, cantaloupe, capsicum, fish, liver, dark colored fruits and vegetables.

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Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

 

vitamin B1

 

How much? 

Men: 1.2 mg. Women: 1.1 mg

Why?

Nerve and brain cell health and helps in the conversion of food to energy.

 
Remember

  • Some diuretics and antacids can lower thiamine levels

Food sources

Liver, breads and cereals (enriched), whole grains

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Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

 

vitamin B2

 

How much? 

Men: 1.3 mg. Women: 1.1 mg

Why?

Riboflavin helps convert your food to energy and aids in red blood cell production.

Remember 

  • Riboflavin deficiency is more common in older men and women and may cause skin irritation, weakness and sometimes cracking skin at the corner of the mouth.

Food sources

Milk, eggs, breads and cereals.

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Vitamin B3 (niacin)

vitamin B3

 

How Much? 

Men: 16 mg. Women: 14 mg

Why? 

Niacin helps in the conversion of food to energy and is necessary for your skin, nerves and digestive system.

Remember

  • Sometimes prescribed for high cholesterol (only under a doctor’s care), can cause flushing of the skin and can have severe side effects.

Food sources 

Fish, eggs, poultry, Meat.

Read More

 

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

 

vitamin B6

 

How much? 

Men: 1.7 mg. Women: 1.5 mg

Why?

Vitamin B6 is needed to strengthen the immune system and helps in forming red blood cells.

Remember 

  • Ingesting too much B6 may cause numbness, difficulty walking and nerve damage.

Food sources 

Whole grains, nuts, beans and eggs

Read More

 

Vitamin B12

 

 

How much? 

Men and women: 2.4 mcg

Why?

Helps in maintaining the health of your nerves and is good for red blood cells.

Remember

  • It is believed around a third of people over 50 are not getting enough B12 from their diet.
  • A Vitamin B12 Deficiency can lead to both balance and neurological problems.

Food sources 

Fish, shellfish, meat, dairy products.

Read More

 

Vitamin C

 

vitamin C

 

How much? 

Men: 90 mg. Women: 75 mg. (Smokers add an extra 35 mg.)

Why?

Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of all tissues; it is important for wound healing and helps boost the immune system.


Remember

  • Excessive amounts of Vitamin C can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea.

Food sources 

Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes.

Read More

 

Vitamin D

 

vitaminD

 

How much?

Ages 51-70: 600 IU. Age 71+: 800 IU 

Why?

Vitamin D helps absorb calcium and may aid in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some auto immune diseases.

Remember

  • Vitamin D levels above 10,000 IU a day may cause damage to kidneys and tissues.


Food Sources

The main source of vitamin D is from the sun. Fatty fish, milk and juices (fortified) also contain Vitamin D.

Read More

 

Vitamin E

 

vitamin E

 

How much? 

Men and women: 15 mg

Why?

To help prevent cellular damage.

Remember

  • Vitamin E increases the risk of bleeding problems

Food sources 

Nuts, fruits, vegetable oils, vegetables.

Read More

 

Folic Acid

 

folic acid

 

How much? 

Men and women: 400 mcg

Why?

Folic Acid helps produce DNA and aids in the formation of red blood cells.

Remember

  • A high level of folic acid may mask a vitamin B12 deficiency

Food sources 

Enriched cereals, whole-grains, dark leafy vegetables.

Read More

 

Vitamin K

 

vitamin K

 

How much? 

Men: 120 mcg. Women: 90 mcg

Why?

Helps maintain bone strength and is important to help your blood clot properly.

Remember

  • May dilute the effect of blood thinner medications such as warfarin

Food sources 

green vegetables, Plant oils, cauliflower, cabbage.

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Calcium

 

calcium

 

How much? 

Men to age 70: 1000 mg (then 1200 at 71+). Women, 1200 mg starting at age 51

why?

Calcium is important in maintaining a normal heartbeat; it helps with clotting and maintains healthy teeth and bones.

Remember

  • Vitamin D is needed in the absorption of Calcium so if you are going to use a supplement grab one that contains Vitamin D.

Food sources 

Green leafy vegetables, calcium-fortified orange juice.

dairy products, bok choy.

Read More

 

Chromium

 

chromium

 

How much? 

Men: 30 mcg. Women: 20 mcg

Why?

To help maintain normal blood sugar levels

Food sources 

Fish, grape juice, meat, chicken, broccoli, apples.

Read More

 

Iodine

 

iodine

 

How much? 

Men and women: 150 mcg

Why?

Iodine is needed for proper thyroid function and may prevent goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland)

Remember

  • When buying salt grab one that is iodized.

Food sources 

Seafood, iodized salt.

Read More

 

Iron

 

iron

 

How much? 

Men and women: 8 mg

Why?

Essential in maintaining healthy red blood cells

Remember

  • Generally you would not need to take a multi-vitamin containing iron unless you have been diagnosed with an iron deficiency

Food sources 

Meat, eggs, Fortified bread and grains.

Read More

 

Magnesium

 

magnesium

 

How much? 

Men: 420 mg. Women: 320 mg

Why?

Magnesium regulates heart rhythm, helps keep your bones strong and supports immune system health.

Remember

  • Magnesium may help against developing type 2 diabetes and decrease the risk of high blood pressure in women.

Food sources 

Nuts, green vegetables, whole grains.

Read More

Potassium

 

POTTASSIUM

 

How much? 

Men and women: 4700 mg

Why?

Potassium works with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance, it is important in maintaining blood pressure and crucial for heart, kidney, muscle and nerve function.

 

Remember

  •  A diet rich in vegetables and fruits will generally provide sufficient potassium.

Food sources 

Sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, yogurt, bananas, leafy green vegetables

Read More

 

Selenium

 

selenium

 

How much? 

Men and women: 55 mcg

Why?

Selenium contributes to special proteins which help prevent cell damage

 

Remember

  • Some studies have shown that it may reduce the risk of some cancers but this is not true for all studies.

 

Food sources 

Chicken, vegetables, red meat, fish.

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Zinc

 

zinc

 

How much?

Men: 11 mg. Women: 8 mg

Why?

Maintains a healthy sense of smell and taste, also helps in wound healing.

Remember

  •  Taking a combination of antioxidants and zinc has been shown in some studies to reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.

    Food sources 

Eggs, seafood, fortified cereals, red meat.

Read More


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