Wellness Feeling good: insights

Supplements for the elderly | When do they help?

Supplements for the elderly | When do they help?

by in Wellness - Feeling good: insights

last updated: March 18, 2020

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Food supplements and tonics for elder people can actively help treating certain pathologies and reintegrate fundamental elements for complete health.

Elder people can implement a training and integration program too, both to combat cellular aging and to alleviate those pathologies that increase with advancing age.

The importance of prevention

anziani al parco

 

The elderly are prone to get more or less serious diseases which could, in the vast majority of cases, be prevented by adopting a long-term healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, moderate movement several times a week and, when needed, specific supplements can dramatically improve living conditions and life expectancy!


A diet based on excess, rich in seasonings and that has little care about the quality of food, as well as smoking and prolonged sedentary lifestyle, constitute the general picture of an elderly population afflicted with pathologies that could easily be prevented with a few small changes.


Of course, when we face a full-blown disease, the result of a series of symptoms that have never been cured, we can only recur to drug administration and adequate medical interventions. However, as long as we are healthy enough, it is never too late to turn your lifestyle around!

Pathologies that afflict the elderly and useful supplements

Some diseases that particularly afflict people in old age are:

  • Alzheimer's,
  • senile dementia,
  • hypertension,
  • sarcopenia,
  • osteoporosis,
  • metabolic diseases,
  • diabetes,
  • tumors.

In this article, we will see how to treat symptoms of some of these important diseases with the help of best practices in terms of physical activity, nutrition, and the support of special supplements for the elderly.

Hypertension

Anziani che mangiano

 

Many people over the years suffer from high blood pressure, often caused by the use of drugs prescribed for the treatment of chronic diseases (for example cortisone) or more simply smoking, sedentary lifestyle, wrong eating habits that create progressive arterial vessels obstructions, increasing blood pressure.

Good rules to follow

 

  • Regular physical activity, especially aerobic, allows you to lower peripheral resistance and reduce pressure. In these cases, it is also advisable to use very low overloads with long repetitions, avoid isometric efforts, leaving room for training with constant heart rate control through the use of a heart rate monitor.

 

 

  • From the point of view of nutrition, limit as much as possible foods rich in salt, sausages, canned foods, pickles, aged cheeses. It is important to ensure the supply of Omega 3 fats to support the circulatory system, therefore go-ahead for bluefish, fish from the North Seas, algae.

 

Supplements to lower blood pressure

 

Dietary supplements of krill oil, in particular, Antarctic krill oil rich in Omega 3 EPA and DHA fatty acids, are allies of heart and the general cardiovascular system health. According to numerous studies, krill oil reduces chronic inflammation, in particular, that of the heart and vascular system, and has been recognized by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) as a protective substance against the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sarcopenia

Elderly woman in the gym

 

Sarcopenia is a physiological phenomenon that naturally appears with the passage of time. From 50 years old onwards there is a progressive loss of muscle mass and an increase in fat mass, creating disturbances and annoyances in everyday life. The lack of lean mass is particularly risky because it can also lead to the onset of bone fractures.

Good rules to follow


You can remedy this situation by inserting an adequate protein quota in the diet to mitigate any early worsening (1.2 gr of protein per day per kg of body weight). Doing some physical activity every day is essential. Just a half-hour walk every day can help!

Protein powder supplements

 

Even for our elders, it is useful to insert protein powders between meals. The ideal is to use protein powders enriched with essential amino acids (EAA) necessary for protein synthesis and anabolism and vitamins such as vitamin B6, which counteracts the states of fatigue. In this way, it will be possible to better combat sarcopenia without weighing down the digestive system too much with products that, perhaps, up to that moment were beyond its diet.

Osteoporosis

Densità ossea nell'osteoporosi

 

Especially in women over 50 years of age, but also in older adults, it is common to witness a gradual decrease in bone density over time. Osteoporosis also occurs due to a physiological deterioration of the human body but, like all pathologies, it can be countered before reaching the most serious stages that lead to bone fractures.

Good rules to follow

 

  • The preventive measures that are adopted primarily concern the prescription of physical activity against gravity and resistance, therefore in the gym, with loads that stimulate bone mineralization. Swimming does not help in this case because, in the absence of gravity, we do not have the necessary stimulus for the bone tissue to recreate and increase bone density.

 

 

  • Introduce calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, dried figs, sesame into the diet. The exam that should be recommended in these cases (especially for women) is MOC, from which the patient's stage of osteoporosis will be deduced.

 

Vitamin D supplements

 

Vitamin D supplements are recommended, especially for those who do not often leave the house, since its natural production is stimulated by sunlight exposure.

Type II diabetes

Uomo anziano misura il diabete

 

 

Many of us have a relative with type II diabetes. Diabetes mellitus (or "food diabetes") is the disease of the century, the result of excessive consumption of sugars and refined foods. Prevention should be considered as the only way to effectively treat diabetes mellitus if only to limit the symptoms so that it does not degenerate into much more serious episodes.


By checking the blood glucose, we are already able to understand the sugar blood level while fasting (between 60 and 110 mg / dL is normal). Complex sugars and refined foods that undergo myriads of processes are to be avoided, especially when the person has a family history and therefore a high probability of developing the disease.

 

Good rules to follow


To try to stem the situation when we are already suffering from diabetes mellitus, at least not to make things worse, we can turn to physical activity and integration.

  • Training sessions will aim to achieve high intensity, pushing the cardiovascular system to the maximum. This type of training (recommended on an empty stomach) is used to gradually lower the blood sugar level. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) will allow achieving the goal. The subject will have to induce a weight loss of body weight over time since the pathology is accompanied by overweight and an accumulation of fat, especially in the visceral area.

 

 

  • For the diet, the patient needs to consult a dietician or nutritionist and adapt to a controlled carbohydrate regimen favoring a high-protein diet, at least until the balance is restored. Low glycemic index carbohydrates allowed are, for instance: oats, brown rice, spelled, red rice (also suitable for cholesterol problems because it contains monocline K), black rice, strawberries, oranges, apples, skim milk, soy milk with no added sugar.

 

Supplements for diabetes

 

It may be helpful to use a supplement that acts as a glycemic regulator at every meal. A food supplement based on plant extracts such as berberis, bitter melon, Gymnema, cinnamon, with chromium and R-alpha-lipoic acid can contribute to the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels and carbohydrate metabolism.


This type of supplement helps to ensure that carbohydrate meals are used to build new muscles and to assist thermogenesis processes.


Berberis extract has a beneficial effect on the regular functionality of the cardiovascular system. Gymnema extract, in addition to contributing to the carbohydrates and lipids metabolism, also supports the control of the sense of hunger.

Metabolic syndrome

The set of some of these pathologies constitutes the so-called metabolic syndrome, which represents the most serious clinical picture since the subject will be affected by hypertension, diabetes, obesity at the same time.

 

It is, therefore, more difficult, but not impossible, to treat the elderly patient with a plethora of affections that occur at the same time. The best thing to do is not to go that far and try more than ever to work on prevention.

Conclusion

Arriving at the doctor with a disease that puts health at risk leads the patient in a negative mood (for being overweight, for feeling generally unwell) and less willing to undertake the treatment path.

 

The real cure is the stable and lasting coexistence of physical activity, healthy nutrition, and adequate integration. A lifestyle that you should always have, because health is our responsibility, and must be protected as the most precious asset.

 

(Updated content)

 

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