[Editor’s Note: The following is from a September 8, 2003 news release from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services]
Even if you eat a good variety of foods, if you are over 50, you might need certain supplements. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Depending on your needs, he or she might suggest you get the following amounts from food and, if needed, supplements:
Vitamin B12 – 2.4 micrograms of B12 each day. Some foods, such as cereals, are fortified with this vitamin. But, up to one-third of older people can no longer absorb natural vitamin B12 from their food. They need this vitamin to keep their blood and nerves healthy.
Calcium – 1200 milligrams, but not more than 2500 mg a day. As you age, you need more of this and vitamin D to keep bones strong and to keep the bone you have. Bone loss can lead to fractures, mainly of the hip, spine, or wrist, in both older women and men.
Vitamin D – 400 international units for people age 51 to 70 and 600 IU for those over 70, but not more than 2000 IU each day. Iron – extra iron for women past menopause who are using hormone replacement therapy (men and other postmenopausal women need 8 mg of iron). Iron helps keep red blood cells healthy. Postmenopausal women who use hormone replacement therapy may still experience a monthly period. They need extra iron to make up for that loss of blood.
Vitamin B6 – 1.7 mg for men and 1.5 mg for women. This vitamin is needed for forming red blood cells and to keep you healthy.