There are special concerns regarding proper nutrition and vitamins for the elderly. Seniors are at risk of being malnourished for many reasons including poor appetite due to medications, disability, or reduced food intake due to intestinal disorders, diabetes, or restrictive diets. The most common nutritional disorder is reduced intake of calories and proteins.
Nearly 2/3 of older people admitted to the hospital are undernourished. Such malnutrition is associated with poorer outcomes from whatever medical problem they have. Infections are more frequent in older folks, and deaths due to infections are two to ten times more likely. Now there is abundant information that nutritional strategies such as liquid multivitamins can delay or even reverse aging of the immune system.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common in the elderly also. Proper nutrition along with vitamin and mineral intake is important throughout life, but it seems to be especially important for good health later in life.
Appropriate vitamin intake is especially important in the elderly. Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) is necessary for calcium absorption, building healthy bones, and preventing bone mass loss. Vitamin D and Calcium work together to keep our nervous system healthy and boost our immune system. The elderly need plenty of Vitamin D supplements. The bones of the elderly can become quite brittle and they may be liable to fractures when seniors fall, and they often do.
Seniors also need Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and may have a role in enhancing bone density. It is a common component of vitamin D supplementation for people at risk for osteoporosis and is currently being evaluated for its role in preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin K deficiency is common in the elderly.