There are many types of dietary supplements on the market; many claim that they will make you feel better, keep you from getting sick or even help you to live years longer. Many of these claims are probably exaggerated, but there is some evidence that supplementing with some vitamins and minerals can provide health benefits for some seniors.

If you are considering to take a dietary supplement, keep a few things in mind.

Vitamins and Minerals Best Consumed With Food

The best way to obtain most of the vitamins and minerals we need is through eating healthy foods. Before taking supplements, be sure that you are eating the number of food servings per day as recommended by the USDA.

FDA Does Not Approve Dietary Supplements

Unlike with OTC and prescription drugs, it is not FDA's role to ensure that dietary supplements are safe and effective. FDA will take action against a product that is found to be unsafe, but it is not required to approve a supplement beforehand.

Also remember that taking large, mega doses of most minerals or vitamins isn't necessary and could be harmful. Further, it does not to be a 'senior formula' to be effective.

If you are over 50 and trying to stay active, you may consider taking some of the following supplements after consulting with your doctor:
  • Vitamin B12 - 2.4 micrograms daily. About 1/3 of senior citizens do not absorb natural vitamin B12 from food. You may need to supplement this vitamin to keep your blood and nerves healthy.
  • Calcium - 1200 mg per day, but not more than 2500. As we age, we need more of this mineral to keep bones strong. Bone loss may lead to fractures in the spine, wrist and hip in men and women.
  • Vitamin D - 400 IU per day for people from 51 to 70. Also helps to keep bones strong.
  • Iron - Needed for women after menopause who use hormone replacement therapy. Iron keeps your red blood cells healthy.
  • Vitamin B6 - 1.7 mg for men and 1.5 mg for women. Important for the formation of healthy red blood cells.

As you consider taking dietary supplements to keep up your fitness, also consider some of our products that can increase your upper body strength, such as the DMI Mini Bike Exerciser: