Using Supplements: Unique Age-Related Needs
Learn which key nutrients people over age 50 should add to their regimen
At Whitaker Wellness, we routinely recommend three additional nutrients for people over age 50 who are using supplements. They aren’t absolutely necessary, but they’re great additions to a high-quality multivitamin.
Let’s take a look at each of them:
Age-related declines in coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are common, and the problem is compounded by conditions such as heart failure and the use of medications like cholesterol-lowering statins. In addition to its protective effects on the heart, brain, muscles, and other tissues with high energy demands, CoQ10 is also an excellent therapy for cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, kidney failure, chronic fatigue, and other conditions.
Recommended dose: 100–200 mg per day. Look for an oil-based formula of ubiquinone or, for optimal bioavailability, ubiquinol—the reduced and active form of CoQ10. For better absorption, take this fat-soluble nutrient with meals.
After age 30, DHEA production begins to drop, and by the time people hit age 70, the average level is just 20 percent of that of a young adult. Yet, within any age group, there is an inverse relationship between blood levels of DHEA-S (an easily measurable metabolite) and the incidence of memory loss, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative disorders.
DHEA has also been touted as an anti-aging therapy, as it has been shown to improve muscle strength, bone density, skin thickness, and, especially in women, sexual function. But above all, supplemental DHEA just makes people feel better. In a survey of men and women ages 40 to 70 who took 50 mg of DHEA daily, 84 percent of the women and 67 percent of the men reported improvements in physical and psychological well-being.
Recommended dose: Although DHEA is sold in health food stores and does not require a prescription, I suggest that you ask your doctor to test your blood level of DHEA-S. If it is low, start with 25 mg a day for women and 50 mg for men. Retest after three months and adjust your dose, if necessary, to maintain levels in the young-adult range.
Do not take DHEA if you have a hormone-related cancer, such as cancer of the breast, prostate, or ovary.
Known as the “red wine pill,” resveratrol is one of the few plant compounds that has actually been demonstrated in clinical studies to have anti-aging benefits. This phytonutrient activates SIRT1 genes, which jumpstart a cascade of positive biochemical reactions.
The research-proven benefits of resveratrol include:
- Stimulates the production of new mitochondria
- Reduces inflammation and free radical load
- Extends lifespan and retards age-related deterioration (in laboratory animals)
- Protects against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease (early research suggests that it promotes the breakdown of beta-amyloid plaques, lesions found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease)
Research on this phytonutrient is still emerging, but it is so promising that I take resveratrol myself and recommend that my patients consider doing so as well.
Recommended dose: 100–150 mg per day, preferably taken in divided doses.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Nutritional Support
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Meet Dr. Whitaker
For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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