These nutrients are needed by the human body for a variety of purposes. Chief among these purposes is the generation of energy, the production of molecules necessary for growth and development, and the maintenance of vital cellular processes.
The Need for Nutrient Supplementation
If you are to consume the right kinds and correct amounts of food from across the different food groups, then nutritional imbalances might as well be a thing of the past. Fortunately there are those who constantly remind modern individuals that nutrient supplementation is one of the surest ways to obtain the right types and amounts of nutrients. Logging onto essentialhealthfoods.com.au will show you just how important nutrient supplementation has become.
The age of 50 is considered by many as that time when the body already is on a decline towards the many changes that is observed among the elderly. Beefing up on nutrient supplementation at this stage will help reduce the impact of nutrient deficiencies in old age.
Nutrient Supplementation among the Elderly
The elderly members of the population are largely considered as a vulnerable group alongside young children, pregnant women, and people with severely compromised immune system. While the elderly may not necessarily have disease conditions, the mere fact that their bodies are already at a reduced levels of functioning, they require nutrient supplementation more than anyone else.
First and foremost, changes in the gastrointestinal system of the elderly predispose them to health problems which can significantly affect the way they consume food. In the oral cavity itself, changes in dentition as well as the strength of the muscles of chewing will render them unable to bite and chew on food. This is important to break down food into smaller pieces so that the different enzymes in the digestive tract can be more efficient in dissolving them. Many elderly have already lost several of their teeth. And while false teeth may help, the bite force of their jaw is simply not as strong as it used to be. If you cannot chew on food, then you will only be able to consume softer, more liquid types of food items. This greatly diminishes the amount of nutrients taken by the body.
Second, the digestive tract of the elderly undergoes structural changes as he age. This can mean reduced levels of stomach acids necessary to digest the food or chyme that is present in the gastric region. Or the elderly may already have gastric ulcerations making feeding a little bit painful because of the secretion of gastric acids. In the small intestines where majority of the digestion and absorption of nutrients take place, reduced digestive enzymes and molecules from the pancreas and liver may lead to the inadequate absorption of nutrients. Liver produces bile that gets stored in the gall bladder while the pancreas releases a host of pancreatic enzymes. If there is a problem in any of these structures, including the small intestines, then nutrients will not be adequately absorbed.
Lastly, the elderly will have significant changes in the different cellular processes owing to the effects of aging. As such, they may consume the right amounts of nutrients but is largely insufficient to allow for optimum functioning.
Health Benefits of Nutrient Supplementation for the Elderly
Nutrient supplementation is something that is needed by everyone, particularly those who are highly vulnerable to the effects of micronutrient deficiencies.
Individuals aged 50 and above will benefit most of all from nutrient supplementation because it supplies them with the necessary amounts of nutrients which they would otherwise not be able to obtain from dietary sources alone. Because of the many structural changes that occur in the elderly body, nutrient supplementation serves as a buffer or an adjunct to healthy, well-balanced diet. This results in the maintenance of physical strength and cardiovascular endurance as well as the optimization of the elderly individual’s metabolic processes. The immune system is improved and cognitive-perceptual functioning can also be enhanced.
It is worth noting that nutrient supplementation is vital among those who are vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies. The structural and functional changes that occur during late adulthood make nutrient supplementation even more a necessity in order to maintain health and ensure better quality of life.