As we age, our need for increased vitamin intake also changes. Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D are 2 vitamins you need when you age, to remain mentally and physically healthy for years.
Vitamin B-12 is important for cognitive function, and may help prevent memory loss. In addition, it keeps the nervous system healthy and functioning at optimum levels.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is common among individuals who are over the age of 50, as well as vegetarians/vegans, who do not consume dairy or meat-based products.
Hydrochloric acid, which aids in digestion, separates vitamin B-12 from the animal protein it is attached to. During the aging process, this stomach acid is not produced as quickly, and in turn, vitamin B-12 is not readily released from foods such as fish, fortified cereals and lean meats.
Since B-12 will not be as easily accessible through food as it once was, it is recommended that you speak to your health care professional about supplements and proper dosing. B-12 supplements are available in oral, injectable and sublingual form.
A deficiency in this very important vitamin may cause psychiatric, as well as neurological issues, if not dealt with promptly. Some symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency include, but not limited to, hypotension, weakened muscles, dementia and incontinence. When low on vitamin B-12 levels, anemia is also a possibility.
B-1 vitamins are important to produce red blood cells that feed brain cells, and also the blood that feeds the spinal cord.
Vitamin D is the key nutrient that is linked to a healthy immune system, as well as muscle function.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, and calcium is needed to keep bones strong. When the age of 50 is reached, the body can’t synthesize vitamin D, as efficiently as in years’ pasts.
Dubbed the “sunshine vitamin”, because exposure to UV rays from the sun triggers the natural production of vitamin D in the body, you cannot rely on sunshine alone, because more than likely this will leave you vitamin D deficient.
When a person is deficient in this important vitamin, depression, weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, brittle bones, heart disease and the risk of a variety of cancers may increase. Clinical studies have shown that individuals that had a substantial amount of vitamin D had a lower of risk of certain diseases.
Foods rich in Vitamin D include, but not limited to:
Just 6 medium-sized oysters will yield a generous 269 IU of vitamin D, and for less than 60 calories.
A cup of Portobello mushrooms (diced) are a mere 20 calories and offer more than 380 IU of vitamin D, but also has healthy antioxidants, as well as essential minerals like iron and potassium.
Eggs are not only an excellent source of protein, but vitamin D and vitamin B-12, as well.
At 37 international units, a teaspoon of Caviar offers people a generous dose vitamin D.
Adults need at least 500 IU of vitamin D daily throughout their lifetime, and that number increases with age, more than doubling, by the time a person reaches the age of 70.