Dietary minerals are vital for human health. Fresh foods and specific supplements are day-to-day mineral sources in the diet. For example, breakfast cereal, a processed food product, is fortified with minerals to increase the dietary mineral intake among Americans. Mineral supplements are available as powders, pills, drinks, and chewable. Vegetables, fruits, fish, lean meat, dairy products, and whole grains form a rich source of minerals. The distinct individual health will determine the essential mineral needs; for example, supplements might be necessary for people struggling with deficiencies. Older adults are at an increased risk for bone loss, cardiac complications, and tooth decay. Consumption of fewer minerals is persistent among the older adults group, leading to age-related malnutrition. Mineral undernutrition can result in poor health outcomes, immune dysfunction, risk of frailty, and body balance deterioration. The older adult population compulsorily requires adequate minerals through diet or supplements to support thyroid metabolism, immune function, and antioxidant acti
Role of Minerals in Older Adults
Minerals perform many essential functions in the body, and the human body utilizes numerous minerals to perform different functions. Just like vitamins, minerals also support the growth and development of the body. Adequate mineral intake enables older adults to continue living independently with a healthy body. A few of the vital roles played by minerals are as follows:
Calcium: Older men of 70 years and above require calcium to prevent bone loss and hip fractures. Calcium plays a vital role in bone density maintenance among post-menopausal women. Adequate calcium intake from reduced-fat dairy products and supplements brings down the probability of hypertension and colon cancer in older adults.
Copper: Age and copper are closely related. The recommended intake of copper in older adults is similar to that of younger adults. It is to prevent deficiency and promote optimum health. In addition, copper enhances the production of blood cells.
Fluoride: Health studies ascertain the beneficial role of fluoride in tooth decay irrespective of age. Fluoridated water plays a significant role in tooth mineralization.
Iron: Iron is essential for normal energy metabolism, hemoglobin production, and drug metabolism. The elderly population is prone to iron deficiency, a recurring mineral deficiency in older adults. A lack of dietary iron or poor absorption depletes the iron reservoir of the body. Older adults should not take iron supplements without iron deficiency as unnecessary intake of iron supplements leads to high iron stores.
Recommended Mineral Intake
The mineral requirement varies with gender, health status, age, and physiological state. Some minerals are required in higher amounts than others, including chloride, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Older adults are at risk for a deficiency when dietary intake fails to match the requirements. The value of ample mineral status is different for men and women. The recommended mineral intake values for older adults are as follows:
Calcium: 1. Men aged 51-70: 1,000 mg per day 2 Men aged 71 and above: 1,200 mg per day 3. Women: 1,200 mg per day
Potassium: 1. Men: 3,400 mg per day 2. Women: 2,600 mg per day
Sodium: 1. Men: 2,300 mg each day 2. Women: 2,300 mg each day 3. Older adults with hypertension: 1,500 mg per day
Magnesium: 1. Men: 420 mg each day 2. Women: 320 mg each day
Iron: 1. Men: 8mg/day 2. Women: 8mg/day
Zinc: 1. Men: 11mg/day 2. Women: 8 mg/day
The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for iodine is 150 Î¼g/day for men and women for normal thyroid functioning. Dietary surveys indicate that older adults require 400 Î¼g of folic acid supplements. It helps to maintain the homocysteine levels that tend to decrease with age. Older people with acute ischemic stroke were deficient in riboflavin. A riboflavin deficiency increases the risk of fractures in post-menopausal women. Nutritionists suggest the intake of mineral supplements that minimum provides 1.7 mg/day of riboflavin. The dietary niacin intake decreases after the age of 60. Therefore, niacin supplements with 20 mg value are essential for older adults.
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