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Over 50? Here's 7 Essential Vitamins and Minerals For You

Over 50? Here's 7 Essential Vitamins and Minerals For You

As we age, it becomes more difficult for our bodies to absorb crucial vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. [1] While a balanced diet is ideal, meeting nutritional needs solely through food can become increasingly difficult.

If you're here, you may be curious about how supplements may help. And with a plethora of products available online and in stores, it's daunting to identify what's truly beneficial. 

In this blog, we'll explore the intersection of supplementation and aging, empowering you with the knowledge to make informed decisions as you journey towards wellness.


While a healthy lifestyle can potentially supply all essential nutrients after 50, the reality is that most individuals find it challenging to consistently meet their daily vitamin requirements due to busy lifestyles.

These gaps can lead to nutritional deficiencies and health issues as we age. Moreover, reduced appetite, mobility issues, and dental concerns often impact dietary habits in older people. Therefore, while individual needs vary, targeted supplements are generally used by adults over 50. 

Although a dietary supplement should never be a substitute for a nutritionally balanced diet, certain supplements may help fill in nutritional gaps that may pose greater risks as we age. We will walk you through 8 essential vitamins and minerals that you may want to consider adding to your diet. 

What makes a vitamin or mineral essential?

Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients because the human body requires them for various vital functions, yet cannot produce them in sufficient quantities on its own. Here's why they are deemed essential:

  1. Vital Functions: Essential vitamins and minerals play crucial roles in numerous physiological processes, including metabolism, immune function, bone health, blood clotting, and nerve transmission.

  2. Absence Leads to Deficiency: Insufficient intake of essential vitamins and minerals can lead to deficiency diseases or disorders. For instance, vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, while iron deficiency results in anemia.

  3. No or Limited Synthesis: Unlike certain nutrients that the body can synthesize from other compounds, essential vitamins and minerals must be obtained through diet or supplementation because the body either cannot produce them at all (as in the case of most vitamins) or cannot produce adequate amounts (as with certain minerals).

  4. Necessary for Growth and Development: Essential nutrients are particularly critical during periods of growth and development, such as infancy, childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy, to support proper growth, cognitive development, and overall health.

  5. Maintenance of Health: Even in adulthood, essential vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining overall health, supporting organ function, tissue repair, and disease prevention.



As we age, bones naturally weaken, increasing the risk of fractures. Calcium plays a crucial role in maintaining strong, healthy bones and preventing bone degeneration. Dietary sources rich in calcium include dark leafy greens, dairy, fatty fish like sardines, sesame seeds, and broccoli.

Research suggests relying on dietary sources for calcium after 50, as studies indicate that calcium supplements may not be equally effective and could lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. [2]


Vitamin D, produced by the body through sun exposure and found in foods such as milk, egg yolks, and fatty fish, aids in calcium absorption and strengthens defenses against certain age-related illnesses. Given that only a small percentage of women over 50 meet their vitamin D needs through diet alone, a quality vitamin D supplement can help bridge this gap, especially during winter months. [3]


Vitamin B-12 is essential for energy, mood regulation, and protection against megaloblastic anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. With age, stomach acid production decreases, hindering vitamin B-12 absorption. [4]


This important "B Complex" vitamin also helps protect your nerves and is essential in the formation of your immune system's red blood cells. Vitamin B-6 is often considered to be one of the most important B vitamins for adults over 50, because it helps the body create several neurotransmitters and without it, B-12 cannot be absorbed.

Vitamin B-6 can be found in foods such as bananas, potatoes, and chicken. B vitamins are also a great source of added energy. [5]


Vitamin C boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant, protecting against oxidative damage associated with cognitive decline. Rich dietary sources include oranges, peppers, strawberries, and potatoes. [6]


Vitamin K aids in blood clotting and supports bone health. Increasing vitamin K intake may expedite wound healing and enhance bone density and strength. Dietary sources include leafy greens, chicken, butter, cheese, egg yolks, and fermented soybeans. [7]


Another essential nutrient for those over 50, vitamin E aids in blood clotting and acts as an antioxidant, supporting the immune system. Dietary sources include nuts, oils, leafy greens, and fat-containing foods. [8]


Considering a Multivitamin

While you may be able to consume all of these important vitamins and minerals in a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, many individuals, especially those over 50, may benefit from supplementing with a multivitamin to ensure they're getting adequate levels of essential nutrients. 

Nutritional Insurance: A multivitamin can serve as a form of 'nutritional insurance,' providing a convenient way to fill potential gaps in your diet and ensure you're meeting your daily requirements for essential vitamins and minerals.

Tailored Formulations: Look for multivitamins specifically formulated for adults over 50, as these products often contain higher levels of key nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B-12, and vitamin K, which are particularly important for aging individuals.

Convenience: Taking a single multivitamin each day is convenient and ensures consistent intake of essential nutrients, even on busy days when dietary choices may be less than optimal.

Consultation with Healthcare Provider: Before starting any new supplement regimen, it's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications that may interact with certain vitamins or minerals.

Ultimately, while a multivitamin can be a valuable addition to your wellness routine, it should complement, not replace, a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. By carefully considering your individual nutritional needs and consulting with a healthcare professional, you can make an informed decision about whether a multivitamin is right for you.



1. Kassis A, Fichot MC, Horcajada MN, Horstman AMH, Duncan P, Bergonzelli G, Preitner N, Zimmermann D, Bosco N, Vidal K, Donato-Capel L. Nutritional and lifestyle management of the aging journey: A narrative review. Front Nutr. 2023 Jan 24;9:1087505. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.1087505. PMID: 36761987; PMCID: PMC9903079.

2. Li K, Wang XF, Li DY, Chen YC, Zhao LJ, Liu XG, Guo YF, Shen J, Lin X, Deng J, Zhou R, Deng HW. The good, the bad, and the ugly of calcium supplementation: a review of calcium intake on human health. Clin Interv Aging. 2018 Nov 28;13:2443-2452. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S157523. PMID: 30568435; PMCID: PMC6276611.

3. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The "sunshine" vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr;3(2):118-26. doi: 10.4103/0976-500X.95506. PMID: 22629085; PMCID: PMC3356951.

4. Morris MS, Jacques PF, Rosenberg IH, Selhub J. Folate and vitamin B-12 status in relation to anemia, macrocytosis, and cognitive impairment in older Americans in the age of folic acid fortification. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;85(1):193-200. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/85.1.193. PMID: 17209196; PMCID: PMC1828842.

5. Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review. Nutrients. 2016 Jan 27;8(2):68. doi: 10.3390/nu8020068. PMID: 26828517; PMCID: PMC4772032.

6. Harrison FE. A critical review of vitamin C for the prevention of age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(4):711-26. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-111853. PMID: 22366772; PMCID: PMC3727637.

7. DiNicolantonio JJ, Bhutani J, O'Keefe JH. The health benefits of vitamin K. Open Heart. 2015 Oct 6;2(1):e000300. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2015-000300. PMID: 26468402; PMCID: PMC4600246.


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