Vitamins are organic chemical compounds from which organisms get their food. What’s special about such compounds is the body of the organisms can produce them. However, the production is not adequate enough for normal metabolism. Therefore, they have to obtain extra amounts through food. If the body doesn’t get sufficient amounts of vitamins, it may develop deficiency issues.
Kinds of Vitamins
- Fat-soluble vitamins.
Such vitamins are stored in the livers and fat tissues of organisms. Absorption of these vitamins occurs through the intestinal tract. They can be in the body for long periods of time. Thus, fat soluble vitamins don’t have to be consumed every day. Examples of these vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are found in animal products and fatty foods.
- Water-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body for a long time. An excess of these vitamins will be expelled from the body as a urine component. Thus, they must be replaced in the body to make sure the body has a constant supply of these vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamins C, B, and folic acid. They are found in dairy products, grains, vegetables, and fruits. But, heat easily destroys these vitamins so cooking foods can result in vitamin loss.
Older Adults Need to Take Vitamins
People of all ages need to take vitamins; however, these are quite essential for seniors. This is because aging adults experience physiological changes.
As a person ages, he faces a decreased need for energy because of a decreased in physical activity level. Therefore, he requires less food because of the lowered metabolic rate. Also, seniors may experience financial issues or decreased appetite which make them unable to get adequate nutrient-dense foods. But the requirements for micronutrients in each person remain the same even if their energy intake decreases. As a matter of fact, the micronutrient requirement of seniors may be higher than that of younger people. Bella Care Home, a leading assisted living facility in Clovis California, wants to say that the decreased intake of food cannot keep up with the continuous needs for micronutrients even if older adults eat nutrient-dense foods.
Moreover, the ability of the body of seniors to absorb and use micronutrients is no longer as great as when they were younger. Thus, they have to increase their nutrient intake to make sure their body gets sufficient amounts of micronutrients. Also, medications and chronic conditions can impact nutrient requirements. Many elderly people need to take medications for chronic diseases and a number of such medications cause nutrient-wasting interactions.
Consequences of Vitamin Deficiency in Seniors
Generally, if a person cannot meet the required levels of micronutrients, this leads to the development of deficiency diseases. Such kinds of health-related issues which occur from the deficiency of various micronutrients vary. Here are some issues which may occur from a micronutrient deficiency.
- Degenerative diseases.
Vitamin E is a vital antioxidant for the body. A person who does not get enough of this vitamin is at risk of developing different chronic degenerative diseases. Such risk is especially high in seniors. These diseases can impact a lot of body parts including the muscular and skeletal systems.
- Cognitive function disorders.
The energy production process in the brain depends largely upon many micronutrients. These nutrients include vitamin B2, B6, B12, and C. Such vitamins play a significant role in the glycolysis and respiratory chain. Some vitamins are also necessary for proper functioning of the brain. Insufficiencies are likely to result in age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in severe cases.
- Immune system or central nervous system disorders.
The central nervous system works to metabolize noradrenaline and dopamine. Such process requires some levels of vitamins B2, B6, and B12. Also, it requires vitamin C and folate. Thus, insufficiencies of these micronutrients result in the central nervous system not functioning properly. Additionally, the synthesis of amino acids and neurotransmitters require some micronutrients.
Vitamin deficiencies also impact the immune system which leaves the person susceptible to common infections and viruses. In older adults, these minor illnesses could result in major health complications.
Blogs, content and other media uploaded online are for informational purposes only. Contents on this website should not be considered medical advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit their physician for health-related issues.