The A-Z of Vitamins : Advice for the elderly

April, 2013

Every month here at the Sandwich Generation we like to provide information for elderly persons, and their families, about various eating habits that can affect your loved ones health and well-being.

Our elderly care advice over the next few days focuses on the various vitamins, minerals and supplements available on the market, what they are for and which ones are worth considering; both on a daily and occasional basis.


Multivitamins and minerals – An all-in-one tablet containing the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of basic vitamins and minerals.

The positives – balancing your diet and counteracting the nasty chemicals that can build up due to stress and smoking.

Is it safe? One pill every day meets all RDAs

Vitamin B complex – A combination of eight B vitamins.

The positives – helping to stabilise the amino acid homocysteine. In 2002 the Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study showed a connection between high homocysteine levels and the risk of hardened arteries and cardiovascular disease.

Is it safe? Vitamin B is water-soluble, which means it is easily excreted.

Vitamin A, C and E with selenium – Antioxidant vitamins A, C and E combined with the mineral selenium.

The positives – neutralising free radicals, which can contribute to premature ageing, cancer and heart disease.

Is it safe? Vitamin A can be very toxic in high doses, so stick to the RDA of 800mg.

Vitamin C - A vitamin found in fresh fruit (mainly citrus) and vegetables, especially greens.

The positives – boosting immunity, fighting infection, enhancing healing, and it keeps blood vessels healthy. Helps form collagen, so skin needs it too.

Is it safe? You can take 500mg a day in two separate doses. Excessive amounts (more than 1,000mg in one day) may cause diarrhoea.

Make sure you pop back tomorrow as we shed a little more light and provide more advice for elderly people on the rest of your daily vitamin options.

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