Taking supplements every day is an important part of maintaining your health. As you age, your body goes through certain changes, and the diet we eat every day may not be able to meet the body's nutritional needs. Results from a survey show that the most common reasons for using supplements were to “improve” (45%) or “maintain” (33%) overall health. Women used calcium products for “bone health” (36%), while men were more likely to report using supplements for “heart health” or to lower cholesterol (18%).
Older adults (≥ 60 years old) were more likely than younger people to report motivations related to site-specific reasons, such as heart, bone and eye health. Only 23% of the products were used as recommended by a healthcare provider. Multivitamin and mineral supplements were the most commonly taken type of supplement, followed by calcium and omega-3 or fish oil supplements. Supplement users are more likely to report very good or excellent health, have health insurance, consume alcohol moderately, avoid smoking cigarettes, and exercise more often than those who don't.
In addition, older adults sometimes have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food, which can also lead to a deficiency. For that reason, taking a daily B12 supplement is recommended. The motivations for taking supplements were also evaluated by means of a categorical question that included the reasons for the use of each supplement reported using a manual card with a list of possible reasons. There was a significant positive trend in supplement use with age and a higher prevalence of reported use of dietary supplements for site-specific reasons, such as heart, eyes, and joints and bones.
Case Clinic experts have identified 5 essential reasons why you should take supplements every day to improve and maintain your health:
- To improve overall health: Taking supplements can help you maintain your overall health by providing your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
- To maintain bone health: Calcium is an important mineral for maintaining bone health. Taking calcium supplements can help prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.
- To lower cholesterol: Taking omega-3 or fish oil supplements can help lower cholesterol levels in the body.
- To boost energy: Taking energy supplements, such as B vitamins, can help boost energy levels in the body.
- To boost immune function: Taking immune-boosting supplements, such as vitamin C, can help boost the body's immune system.