Mild vitamin deficiencies are very common among the older population. The most common vitamin deficiencies in the older population include: Vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin B12, and magnesium.
Having vitamin deficiencies are most common as a person ages. Here at NTCO, we cannot prescribe vitamins and supplements to include in your daily life, however, we do recommend that you see your primary care physician to have your levels checked.
Below we have included what each vitamin does to give you greater understanding.
Vitamin D is necessary for building and keeping healthy bones. Calcium, which is the component of bone, can only be absorbed when Vitamin D is present. Vitamin D also helps reduce the inflammation in the body.
In the older demographic, vitamin D tends to be deficient because of the lack of outside time: most of the time for this demographic is spent inside, therefore sun exposure is very limited. As well as, when a person is aging, their skin does not synthesize vitamin D as efficiently as before, and they are not supplementing with any additional vitamins.
Without vitamin D, there could be a decrease in bone density, causing your bones to become thin and brittle, increasing the chances of having an injury in the event of a fall. The lack of vitamin D can also lead to osteoporosis.
There are not a lot of foods that contain Vitamin D, so if you feel that you have a Vitamin D deficiency you should schedule an appointment with your PCP, to learn more about what your next steps are.
Calcium is needed to help build and maintain strong bones over the course of your life. Calcium also helps your muscles, nerves, and heart function properly.
When you have a calcium deficiency it could lead to weak and brittle bones, which could cause osteoporosis. Your body doesn’t produce calcium, therefore, you have to find it in other sources such as different foods.
Calcium can be found in different foods such as: dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, & kale; fish products; and dairy products such as cheese, milk & yogurt.
If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of having a deficiency of calcium, please reach out to your PCP and schedule an appointment to learn about your next steps.
Vitamin B12 is directly linked to red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.
To have a deficiency of B12 is rare, however, it can happen especially as a person ages and more health concerns become common. When there is a deficiency of vitamin B12 it can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, nerve damage, anemia, and mood changes.
There are many sources of B12 that you could include in meals such as poultry, fish, and dairy products. Many people get B12 through a balanced diet, however, if you have specific dietary restrictions, then checking in with your PCP would be a great first step to ensuring that you do not need any additional intake.
Magnesium is needed in the body to help support nerve and muscle function and help with energy production.
If you have a low amount of magnesium, there could be no symptoms at all, however, depending on how low the deficiency gets, it could lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis or heart disease.
A variety of foods are a good source for magnesium, including whole grains, leafy vegetables, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), nuts, and seeds. However, if you feel like you have a magnesium deficiency, please schedule an appointment with your PCP, to learn your next steps.