Friday, July 24, 2015

Supplements and Older Women

I was asked in an interview recently about what advice I had for women in their 60's and 70's. They specifically wanted to know about supplements. Okay, Vitamins B12 and D3, calcium citrate, and magnesium would be a good place to start. It becomes more difficult to absorb B12 as we get older, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, the active form) is crucial for bone and muscle health which reduce the risk of falls; calcium citrate works well if you have less stomach acid, as many elders do, and magnesium has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death in women, and is also vitally important for bone, muscle and nerve health. Most women would benefit from taking a basic multivitamin (without iron) to make sure they are getting vitamin K and all the other trace minerals needed for wellbeing.
When I get these interviews, I know that they're asking me about the typical medical/supplement advice stuff, but sometimes important pieces of the conversation get left out. For far more important to our wellbeing is our social connectedness. Statistics show that 50% of U.S. women over age 75 are living alone in relative social isolation. Many, many studies have shown that social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes or being obese. Loneliness puts individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline, onset of disability, and high blood pressure.
As we get older, it's important to stay connected. It is natural to stop going out as often or socializing the way we used to, but it is critical that you keep your tribe close. And if you have a loved one who is alone, reach out. Stop by, share a meal together, pick up the phone. We all have to look out for each other.
To learn more, visit: