While many women choose to age gracefully, we would also like to slow the hands of time. To reverse, delay or avoid frailty as well as conditions associated with aging, good nutrition and physical activity should be considered mandatory. Those wanting to remain mobile, independent, and enjoy a long, healthy, vibrant life should maintain a healthy weight, participate in enjoyable physical and social activities, and get the recommended intake of daily nutrients. However, as we age, we need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight, making it more difficult to obtain the full array of micronutrients.
Additionally, hormonal and metabolic changes, low dietary intake, and less efficient digestion and absorption can have a profound impact on nutritional requirements. Nutritional supplements may do more than fill in dietary gaps. They may also address particular health concerns of aging women, including enhanced support of bone, heart, and cognitive health. Studies have identified micronutrient deficiency levels in the range of 30 – 95 percent in those over 50, including certain vitamins and minerals critical to aging, such as B2, B12, C, D, E, folate, calcium and magnesium.
Maintaining energy production, along with healthy muscles, joints, and bone, keeps the body strong and healthy, preventing weakness and frailty. Calcium and protein are essential to support the lifelong process of bone formation and maintenance. More than 99 percent of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth, leaving less than 1 percent in extracellular serum. While some individuals may meet calcium requirements through dietary sources and fortified foods, calcium absorption, unfortunately, declines with age.
Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the average dietary calcium absorption rate is approximately 30 percent. Small amounts of calcium are utilized throughout the body for vascular contraction, vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion. Adolescents, post-menopausal women, the elderly, and those with allergies or lactose intolerance are at the highest risk for calcium deficiency.
Adequate dietary protein provides the amino acids required for protein synthesis necessary for energy production, and the repair and maintenance of body tissues. Bones and muscles comprise approximately 50 percent of body protein stores. Seniors are more susceptible than younger adults for declining muscle mass during periods of inactivity, as well as for anabolic resistance, the impaired capacity to synthesize muscle mass. The loss of muscle strength and mass, known as sarcopenia, is found to some degree in more than half of adults aged 80 years and older. Sarcopenia may be the result of changes that occur with aging, including reduced physical activity, changing endocrine function, insulin resistance and increased dietary protein needs.
Recent science suggests that the consumption of a good quality whey protein, ideally 20g daily, could help seniors meet adequate protein requirements. Along with sufficient exercise, protein supplementation could minimize the loss of skeletal muscle and reduce anabolic resistance. As renal function also decreases with age, a high protein intake is contraindicated in those with renal disease. However, there is compelling data to support the ability of high quality dietary protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in aging healthy individuals.
Three synergistic micronutrients, vitamins D3 and K2 and magnesium work to strengthen bones and protect the heart. These nutrients are essential to the absorption and maintenance of proper calcium balance. Together, vitamins D3 and K2 shuttle calcium into bones and teeth, and help remove calcium from arteries and soft tissues. In order for muscles to exist in a neutral state, calcium and magnesium must be in balance. Magnesium helps in muscle relaxation, while calcium constricts the muscles. Proper balance is especially important to heart muscle health, helping to prevent angina, heart attack and hypertension.
B vitamins, also critical to heart health, become more difficult for women to absorb as we age. Vitamins B6, B12 and folate help to properly regulate homocysteine levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Vitamin B12 is essential for optimal brain function. The body’s ability to absorb B12 declines with age, which may increase the risk of dementia in older adults. The Institute of Medicine advises adults over age 50 to supplement with B12 to ensure sufficiency.
Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support overall health and wellbeing:
RevitalAge™ Ultra by Pure Encapsulations®: This scientifically researched blend offers sustained released CoQ10, acetyl-l-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and pure resveratrol, as well as antioxidant and mitochondrial support cofactors in support of enhanced cardiovascualar, metabolic and neurocognitive support. Specific ingredients target cellular pathways and genes involved in the aging process. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic formulation.
Whey Protein Concentrate by Biotics® Research: Derived from the milk of grass fed New Zealand cows, this Non-GMO, low temperature, microfiltered whey protein powder provides 21g of protein per serving in support of healthy aging, detoxification, glucose metabolism, liver and gallbladder health, and weight management. Gluten free.
Ultra Whey Plus™ Vanilla by Douglas Laboratories®: This product provides essential amino acids, 22g of protein per serving, an organic antioxidant fruit and vegetable blend and soluble fiber. Sweetened with organic coconut palm sugar and organic stevia in a natural vanilla flavor. Gluten, wheat, yeast and artificial ingredient free.
Vitamin D Supreme With Vitamin K1 and K2 by Designs for Health™: This product supplies a clinically useful dose of vitamin D3 and highly bioavailable forms of vitamins K1 and K2 in support of optimal bone and arterial health and proper immune system balance. Gluten, wheat, dairy, sugar and preservative free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
Calcium Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite by Douglas Laboratories®: This product supplies beneficial bioavailable calcium, phosphorus, amino acids, boron, and bone matrix proteins derived from young bovine bone in support of the maintenance of healthy bone structure and function. Gluten, wheat, yeast, soy, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredient free.
The Role of Calcium in Human Aging. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337919/
Protein nutrition, exercise and aging. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640513
Role of dietary protein in the sarcopenia of aging. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1562S.full