Attention. Are You getting Enough Vitamin C?

Twenty-five years ago, I remember telling my physician that I was taking supplements.  He never asked me which ones.  He just remarked I was wasting my money. Ten years ago we spoke about supplements and he hoped that I was taking Vitamins C and E and Calcium. Anything else and I was wasting my money.

My doctor has since retired. He was an outstanding internist, superb diagnostician, a caring person but we always argued about supplementation.

Times have changed.

In the November 2007 issue of Tufts Health &Nutrition Letter there’s an article about the over-50 crowd not meeting their nutrient targets.  The information from a study of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, August.

The first interesting fact is the recognition that over-50’s may not be getting the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from food alone.  I suspect – and strongly – that this holds true for most adults regardless of age because most of us don’t eat the way we should.  The point is this fact was acknowledged not just because of our lifestyles at over age 50 but also for biological reasons such as not absorbing nutrients as well as we age.

Then the article reported that people over 50 who took supplements were more likely to get enough vitamins and minerals.  The problem is only about half those in the over-50 age group take supplements daily.

So now we’re at the crux of the matter. People who took supplements were more likely to get enough of vitamins C, B6, folate, zinc and magnesium than those relying on food alone.  Those who didn’t take supplements were short on vitamin E, D, folate and magnesium.  Even those who took supplements were short on magnesium.

The conclusion of the study was that when the medical experts develop recommendations for supplement use for people over 50, they should consider compensating for the deficiencies.

My question to you again is: Do you know if you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals?

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