Multivitamin for elderly man?

Annegriet

Anybody have any recommendations? Thanks--always get the best advice at the KT.

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Lars

A doctor should really prescribe what vitamins to take. In addition to taking Centrum Silver, I have to take B-12 and B-6, as the multivitamin does not have enough of these, and I am deficient in them. Some people also need to take extra vitamin D.

For mineral supplement, I take Calcium Citrate. I also take cinnamon pills and fish oil.

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jmm1837

My hubby is elderly but has no need of vitamin supplements. Do you know that the gentleman in question actually needs them?

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blfenton

I did research on this for my mom a few years ago but she ate a pretty good diet. The only ones I added were lots of water and Vitamin D.

When googling what seniors are missing in their diet the most, the number 1 item that always comes up is Water. People start to lose their sense of thirst in their 50's.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I get the Men's centrum silver for DH and then he supplements with other things including Vit D. But as a basic to cover general needs, it's a good one.

I too take the women's centrum silver. While we both eat a healthy diet, I do find I feel better with the supplement, so I take them.

The other supplement we take...he takes it as an oil, Barlean's High Lignan...I sprinkle it ground on my salad...is flax seeds. The American diet is high in omega-6 but not in omega-3 which are essential fatty acids...meaning your body can't make them from anything else and must get them from diet. For both of us it just seems to lubricate the entire body, especially helpful for joints and stiffness.

And yes to drinking water which can affect so many things. By drinking more water, it can reinvigorate your natural sense of thirst.


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morz8

Annegriet - just a little tip, does your elderly have any issues swallowing something larger? Those Centrum are not small. My elderly mother hasn't been able to manage them for years. She's given a protein supplement (powdered and mixed into a drink) and drinks an Ensure every day to compliment her light meals. She does OK on dairy so her doctor has stopped the order for calcium, and for the little Vit D soft gel cap that always seemed to stick in her throat! Her caregivers had begun to feel bad asking her to try so I called him.

DH takes a Centrum Silver Mens Formula every day and we both take Vit D on advice from my doctor. I try to watch nutrition, but admittedly have probably been falling short during this last year. I'm feeling a little burned out in the kitchen, have been in something of a food rut - but working on making things more interesting again.

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Elmer J Fudd

Periodic blood work and a physician's exam should disclose whether there are particular deficiencies that need to be supplemented. Otherwise, a varied and healthy diet should supply what's needed.

Last time I asked my primary care doc about vitamins, she said that taking ONE multivitamin as a supplement probably wouldn't do any harm but also likely wouldn't do much good if I remained careful with my diet.


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chisue

Unless blood work shows some deficiency, and one eats a healthy diet, vitamins are unnecessary. DH and I each take D3 1000 units daily because we are deficient in D otherwise. The caveat here is the 'healty diet'; does he eat well? If not, I'm not sure supplements will make much difference, and you could choke to death on some of these 'horse pills'.

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SEA SEA

I have a friend who can not swallow pills. She uses this liquid multi vitamin https://www.vitacost.com/natures-way-alive-liquid-multi-vitamin-max-potency

She puts it in a water bottle and sips it through the day. One could also put in a glass of juice or beverage of choice.

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maifleur03

Do not give an older person vitamins or minerals without having blood work done. There are several that interact with each other and the interaction can cause major problems especially if other medicines are involved.


If you do not go with your Father when he has his doctor visits it is now time to start. As long as he agrees that you can be there and can ask questions go. Some doctors are very abrupt and will tell you to shut up but normally a little more politely than that. Others will simply ignore you. You may need to be proactive and actually ask your Father if it is alright with him in front of the doctor if you can ask a question or remind the doctor of something. This is something that anyone that is taking care of an elderly or even not so elderly person can do. Part of it is HIPPA and the patient may be asked to sign a release but most doctors will accept a verbal for that time only. If there are mental or communication problems they may accept the verbal although they should have it in writing.

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vgkg Z-7 Va

I guess I'm elderly, ugh...but VgQn buys me Nature's Way Alive Men's multivitamins, in Gummy bear form (I don't like swallowing pills either).

I'm still alive so it might be working, luckily no meds involved.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Unless blood work shows some deficiency, and one eats a healthy diet, vitamins are unnecessary.

So some say, but unfortunately, they don't test for deficiency for all vitamins or minerals. Especially today with so many trace elements missing from our food with the type of farming that's typically done, and long supply chains where the fruits and vegetables deteriorate, unless it's contraindicated, taking a multivitamin can make sure you are getting MDR of the basics regardless of diet.

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Elmer J Fudd

Is this what your medical doctor told you?

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honibaker

How to swallow a large pill:

Take the pill and liquid in your mouth, turn your head to the left (as far as you can), and

swallow.....voila! The pill will never get stuck, or even be felt.

I wasn't able to swallow a huge anti-viral pill when I had shingles, and searched on-line for

help. This tip has worked for every pill I have ever had to take. Hope this helps someone.

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sjerin

That's a good tip, honibaker, and I know it works.


I agree with you, AnnieD. One has to specifically ask for various vitamin levels to be checked.

I'm beginning to see more concern for vit. B12 levels, as a deficiency can mimic dementia.


When we were concerned about how little water Mom seemed to be drinking, her doctor said that thirst levels do indicate how much water should be drunk and not to worry overly much about it. She lived to two days shy of 97 and did not die from kidney failure.

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Elmer J Fudd

mdln, am I correct in my understanding that the USP designation confirms the contents to be as labeled but indicates nothing beyond that? That it isn't an endorsement or recommendation for use and also says nothing about whether claimed benefits are in fact achieved by the contents?

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mdln

@Elmer J Fudd, yes, that is correct.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

FWIW, I buy a basic daily multivitamin for women for my mom. She's 90 and does not eat a wide variety of foods. Her diet is esp. lacking sufficient amounts of fruits & veggies high in beta carotene, so I feel better knowing she's at least getting RDA of important nutrients like that. I buy her gummies because she has trouble swallowing medium to large pills.

This is what she has right now - and Target has a similar version in their store brand:

There's a men's version too.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

You can get effervescent mulitvitamin tablets which make a fruit flavoured fizzy drink. No need to swallow pills and they also provide a top up of water.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I know some like to think their Dr's say so is the be all and end all on nutrition, but nutrition is not a big part of most docs' education, or even a part at all. In fact:

Despite the connection between poor diet and many preventable diseases, only about one-fifth of American medical schools require students to take a nutrition course, according to David Eisenberg, adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He discussed the topic May 8, 2017 on PBS NewsHour... Source: hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/doctors-nutrition-education/

That means about 80% of medical schools do not require their students to take a course on nutrition.


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2pups4me

Ditto what Annie just said. I prefer to seek information on nutrition from those who specialize in that area. We do that with other specialties, why not nutrition?

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Annie Deighnaugh

FTA: Today, most medical schools in the United States teach less than 25 hours of nutrition over four years.

So even if integrated into classes, it's not a lot considering students need, what 4,000-5,000 hours of study to become a doctor?

And I mistrust that those integrated studies are specific to a particular failure of the body such as lack of iodine and hypothyroidism or Vit C and scurvy, but not a general overall level of health provided by adequate nutrition. Especially when looking at the needs of seniors who can have issues with poor digestion, access or appetite or finances to prepare and eat healthy food, undiagnosed alcoholism, depression and so on, nutrition could affect their general health and how they feel and function, but not yet reach the level of treatable disease that a doctor would address.

Taking a multivitamin as an "insurance policy" to cover one's nutritional needs may be overkill, and may just make expensive urine if one has an adequate and varied diet, but, if not contraindicated, may just help.

As I said before, I stopped taking multivits for quite awhile and then went back and found a significant difference in how I felt..nothing a doctor would treat either way, but it mattered to me.

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Debby

My dad takes a Vitalux multi-vitamin that has a higher dose of whatever it is your eyes need, every single day now for about 40 years. He has macular degeneration so needs that extra eye vitamin umph.

Centrum makes vitamins for men and women and for all age groups. I would see if he really needs them and ask his doctor to recommend one.

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woodrose

I take One-a-Day Pro 65+ multivitamin supplement that's for men or women, and 125 mcg of D3. I stopped taking Vitamin D3 for awhile, but my last blood test showed I was low again. I don't eat enough, so I know I need extra help.

Elmer, I wish we all lived where we had access to super fresh fruits and vegetables and could eat healthier, but that's not the case. I live in the East where fruits and vegetables have to be shipped in for most of the year. The only time we can get anything fresh is during the summer when we can buy locally grown, or grow our own.

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Elmer J Fudd

"I know some like to think their Dr's say so is the be all and end all"

Sorry, but it's shocking to me to hear that you think you are better than your doctor at deciding what needs to be done to keep you well and diagnose problems that need follow up. In the unlikely event that that is the case, you should find another doctor.

Classroom hours (which I think you've overstated by at least a factor of 2x) provide the starting point for real world training, not the end point. Far more hours are spent in clinical training and seeing patients with mentors than in the classroom. That's why like most professions, medicine is a practice, using knowledge of art and science accumulated over the years. It's not just science, it goes well beyond the book learning at the beginning.

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maifleur03

Some doctors simply still believe the doctor is King. I left one last year when the one I was going to had a prescription sent to me that needed a no fat diet followed for at least two weeks before starting. Luckily I knew about the medication. When I called the office the message relayed was I did not need the diet. Was I willing to have massive stomach problems??? I changed doctors.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Sorry, but it's shocking to me to hear that you think you are better than your doctor at deciding what needs to be done to keep you well and diagnose problems that need follow up.

No less shocking than I find your absolute faith and trust in medical professionals and what they tell you. Perhaps you've been lucky and haven't had any medical issues that are beyond western medicine's ken, or used medical professionals who graduated at the bottom of their class or got their degree in some far off land with less rigorous standards or have a drug problem, or suffer from sheer exhaustion. Maybe you found only those who have never made a mistake, never forgotten things they've learned or never made it up on the fly because they were expected to have answers or because insurance cos are forcing them to limit visits to 10 min. Maybe you've never been dismissed by a doctor because he didn't believe you because it was easier than admitting he didn't know or didn't want to bother to work with you to find an answer, or because you were too old or too young or too fat, or female or of a certain ethnicity or had language barriers, etc. If so, then you've been extremely lucky, and I suspect your experience has not been consistent with those of the average patient. If not, and you *have* run into people who were less than stellar in their performance despite having an MD after their name, then your absolute faith and trust in them is done at your own risk...one I'm not willing to take.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Elmer, I started typing out another long answer, but didn't want to hijack this thread, so I started another on dr/patient relationship.

Meet me there if you want to continue this discussion...

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Elmer J Fudd

Well, yes and no. Medical schools have historically done a poor job of including a form of personality screening in their admission processes. Not all doctors have the kind of attitudes and empathy they should. The schools are doing better now and are including aspects of patient interaction in clinical training. I don't know if I'm detecting a bit of racism in your comment but I think compassion and dedication have no racial or ethnic patterns nor have patient needs. Most doctors have trained in inner city locations with diverse patient bases. Replace any doctor who you find doesn't listen to you or who treats you with less respect and concern that you have every right to expect.


I wish you good luck in finding better doctors and hope you realize that your well intentioned but uninformed efforts to make up for what you think to have been bad advice and indifference from your doctors is unlikely to do anything positive for you.

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Elmer J Fudd

Woodrose, it sounds like you're acting on solid medical assessments and good for you for doing so. It's not unusual for a deficiency here or there to be identified and easily addressed. As I understand it, healthy eating is as much about what people eat as well as what they don't eat or for the "bad" stuff, eat in limited quantities. Most of us know what's involved. There should be enough veggies and fruit available in most places to allow for the diversity that provides needed vitamins and minerals that should only require minor supplementation or none at all.


One point the vitamin and supplement gulpers need to keep in mind is that it's been frequently shown that vitamins and minerals in food are more easily absorbed and used by the body than those from supplements. A balanced and diverse diet is far better for good health than an unvaried, unhealthy diet compensated for with supplements.


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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

It is a myth that fruits and vegetables are best if "fresh". The use of "fresh" has become automatic when describing a good diet, but....

The real problem is that most people just don't eat enough nor enough variety of fruits and vegetables daily; and many also cook them to death, destroying some of the value. It isn't lack of access to "fresh", especially since most grocery produce isn't all that fresh. Frozen is nutritionally equivalent.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Indeed - and one need not spend exorbitant amounts of money on super mega dose vitamins with all kinds of extra special ingredients of doubtful benefit.

A lot of the common advice for 'healthy' adults is aimed at younger people - not elderly people in their 70s, 80s, & 90s. That's often left out in a lot of the widely available info. Seniors need more protein and various other nutrients to make up for age related decline. Many older folks do not eat enough, have diminished appetites and often have various medical/health conditions that a bit of extra nutrition can help with. Medical professionals specializing in geriatrics often recommend supplemental nutritional beverages like Ensure that contain protein, vitamins and minerals - but not everybody likes those. My mom doesn't, so I have to figure out other ways to supplement her nutrition and keep her healthy.


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Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

To add to this, fresh fruit & produce is expensive as is healthy meats or fish. Vitamins may be the least expensive purchase to ensure seniors are getting enough nutrition.

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Elmer J Fudd

I know nothing about Canada but in the US, expenditures on food as a percentage of income is at its lowest point for the last 60 years


Food spending as a percentage of per capita income

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Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

I'm surprised you admitted knowing nothing about Canada Elmer. Regardless, using the cost of food is a very poor anaolgy. How about housing, daycare, transportation, education, medicare and all the rest of it.

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Elmer J Fudd

Huh? You were talking about the cost of food, not the much broader and expansive elements of the costs of living faced by individuals. These are what I was referring to insofar as limited familiarity. My familiarity with your country is limited to having clients involved with cross border commerce in both directions over a 30 year period and perhaps a dozen visits from BC to Quebec City and points in between.

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Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

I was talking about being able to afford nutritious food. If most of your money is paying rent or other expenses people are not necessarily able to buy healthy food. As I'm sure you are aware, there are alot of less fortunate seniors who have to make those kind of choices.

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ci_lantro

From USDA.gov

As their incomes rise, households spend more money on food, but it represents a smaller overall budget share. In 2019, households in the lowest income quintile spent an average of $4,400 on food (representing 36.0 percent of income), while households in the highest income quintile spent an average of $13,987 on food (representing 8.0 percent of income).

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jupidupi

I don't know if they do anything or not, but those Nature's Bounty gummy vitamins are delicious and I look forward to my "candy' every morning.

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Elmer J Fudd

cilantro, at the lowest quintile, ALL basic household expenses represent a larger percentage of income than at higher levels. Not just food. Gas for the car, cable/internet if any, basic utilities, everything else etc., My stat was for the average. Food is cheaper than ever before.


I know and feel sorry for people for whom money for food is a struggle but the fact is, such people at the lowest income level struggle for everything else too. There's nothing exceptional about their challenge for food costs.

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SEA SEA

Not to start a fight or anything, but I have to say Elmer that I feel ill reading your comment above. The disregard for fellow humans is astonishing. Complete lack of empathy on so many levels. Gah.

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SEA SEA

For Elmer, to remind him that not everyone is as privileged as him.


Emphasis on the "Help when you can". Energy spent helping a fellow human is better spent than sounding like a well-to-do snob. Sorry for name calling, but for Pete's sake.


To quote Elmer: "such people at the lowest income level struggle for everything else too. There's nothing exceptional about their challenge for food costs."

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Elmer J Fudd

sea sea, the information I provided was that food is at an all time low for household spending. Someone offered a stat about spending of folks at the lowest quintile. Disparities between numbers at a mean and numbers at the lowest (or highest!) quintile, especially as percentages like these, are inherent with any bell curve and my response was to suggest that the lowest quintile info wasn't relevant to what I said and why. You seem to have misunderstood my comment and the reason for it. It has nothing to do with what you perceive to be privileges or lack thereof or a callous attitude. Believe me.

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SEA SEA

Elmer, I did not misunderstand.

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