How Men's Nutritional Needs Change as You Age
It’s no secret that your body changes as you age, but you can help ease the process by treating your body right. Men over 50 have very different nutritional needs than teenagers, children, and even middle-aged adults.
Aging & nutritional challenges
Less stomach acid: Research shows that 20% of the elderly produce less stomach acid1 due to a condition called atrophic gastritis. Low levels of stomach acid affect the absorption of nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, and iron2.
Slow metabolic rate: The body's metabolic rate starts to drop as it loses 3-8 percent of its muscle mass during each decade after 303. Muscles are metabolically active and burn energy even when you are at rest. Muscle loss means you burn fewer calories than when you were younger. To prevent weight gain, make sure to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes are a normal part of aging. If left unchecked, it can lead to inflammation and chronic stress. Stress affects the way you absorb nutrients and can also increase nutrient excretion. Research shows that chronic stress depletes the body's magnesium levels and can lead to deficiency4.
Malabsorption: Aging can increase the chances of malabsorption of nutrients. Studies show that your body produces and absorbs less vitamin D as we age. There is also a weaker conversion from the inactive form of vitamin D to the active D3 form5.
Dietary changes: Subtle changes to your sense of smell and taste can also affect your eating habits. Taking certain medications for a prolonged period of time can also alter your taste preferences. These factors can impact your eating habits which may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
What crucial nutrients you may be missing?
If you are a male over 50, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the following nutrients from fortified foods and dietary supplements:
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is important for energy and healthy brain function. As people get older, their ability to absorb vitamin B12 tends to decrease. This is because seniors often develop problems with the acids and stomach enzymes needed to process the vitamin. Experts estimate that up to 20% of people aged 50 and over may be low in vitamin B12, with this deficiency becoming more common as people get older. It’s common, serious, and worst of all, commonly overlooked, until it causes significant health problems.
Folate: In a study conducted on 70 men aged 50 and over, researchers found that subjects had lower folate intake and blood levels6. They found that their poor folate levels coupled with low B12 levels were linked to impaired spatial skills.
Vitamin D3: Vitamin D provides essential support for healthy bones, a healthy immune system, and a balanced mood. Several studies show that as we age, our skin loses its ability to make vitamin D.
Magnesium: Magnesium is vital for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, quality sleep, and healthy muscles and nerves. It also supports bone health by helping your body absorb calcium and activate vitamin D. Altered digestive function, certain medications, and inadequate nutrient intake can lead to a magnesium deficiency in people over 50.
Zinc: Zinc is needed for the proper growth and maintenance of the human body. It is needed for immune function, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and much more.
Our One Daily Multivitamin for Men 50+ is specially designed for the adult male over 50 to help you meet your daily nutritional needs with ease.
1. Factors in Aging that Effect the Bioavailability of Nutrients, 1 April 2001
2. Chronic gastritis, 2015 Jun 3; 50(6): 657–667
3. Preserve your muscle mass, February, 2016
5. The Problems of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Older People, 2012 Aug; 3(4): 313–329
6. Many older adults are deficient in vitamin B12 and folate, June 26, 2018