| ||Nutritional Medicine: Nutritional Programs for the Elderly||
When high amounts of supplemental fiber, such as wheat bran, are used (I recommend eating more high-fiber foods), more vitamins and particularly more minerals may be needed to make up for those pulled out through the colon by the fiber. Extra B vitamins are often needed to support function. Usually, double levels of most of the B vitamins are suggested. I think doubling the intake of most of the hard-to-absorb minerals, such as chromium and zinc, can help as well.
Remember, common deficiencies in the elderly include vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and C, folic acid, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, chromium, and other trace minerals. Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are important to support a continued healthy skeleton. Plenty of water and good quality vegetable oils (cold-pressed) are also important to keep the skin and tissues healthy. The following table offers some guidelines for setting up a good supplement program.
Dietary Nutrient Program for the Elderly*
(Range — RDA to Optimum)
||Men — 1,900–2,600
||Women — 1,600–2,200||
|Vitamin A||5,000–10,000 IUs||
|Vitamin D||200–600 IUs||
|Vitamin E**||60–1,000 IUs||
|Vitamin K||100–300 mcg.||
|Thiamine (B1)||1.5–50.0 mg.||
|Riboflavin (B2)||1.5–50.0 mg.||
|Niacin (B3)||16–100 mg.||
|Niacinamide (B3)||50–100 mg.||
|Pantothenic Acid (B5)||7–500 mg.||
|Pyridoxine (B6)||2.5–50.0 mg.||
|Folic acid||400–800 mcg.||
||Hydrochloric acid||5–10 g.,|
||(as betaine or glutamic acid)
||or 1–2 tablets|
||(prior to or with meals)|
|Vitamin C||60–3,000 mg.||
||Digestive enzymes||1–2 tablets|
||Flaxseed or cod liver oil||1 Tablespoon|
***As with other life stage support programs, nutrients easily available, such as sodium, chloride, phosphorus, sulfur, and potassium, are not usually supplemented unless there is a deficiency. Of these, potassium may be more commonly supplemented due to poor nutrition or medication.
***Can go up to 1600–2400 IUs for intermittent claudication.
***Vitamin B12 is commonly used as an injection in the elderly, at least several times a year, to help build up tissue stores.
(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
|Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more