Do Older Adults Need Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?
The multibillion-dollar nutritional supplement industry has been successful in promoting the concept that “more is better.” Increasingly, antioxidants and vitamins are being added to our food supply. Bottled waters and sports drinks contain three to six times our daily requirements. However, once we have consumed our daily requirements, additional amounts of these vitamins have no ability to further enhance the bodily functions that require these agents.
The average American balanced diet adequately meets one’s daily requirements for vitamins and trace minerals. Excess consumption of vitamins and antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin E and vitamin A have been associated with an increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis and overall mortality.