Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a powerful nutrient the body relies on to carry out many different functions. Even though this vitamin can be found in a wide variety of foods and beverages, some older adults don’t consume enough of it. Here is a look at a few reasons seniors should consider increasing their vitamin C intake.
1. Increases Bone Density
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, over nine million osteoporotic fractures occur every year. One of the reasons these fractures are extremely common among the elderly is because bones naturally deteriorate with age. Consuming at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day suppresses the oxidative stress that weakens bones. In some countries, seniors who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis are now being prescribed vitamin C to minimize the symptoms of this disease.
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2. Limits Macular Degeneration
More research needs to be done on this subject, but some experts believe vitamin C can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Antioxidants such as vitamin C seem to protect the eyes from everyday damage and oxidative stress. Older adults who are losing their vision should try to consume plenty of vitamin C, zinc, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. Many of those antioxidants are found in brighter fruits and vegetables like carrots and bell peppers.
3. Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Vitamin C deficiencies have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and sudden cognitive decline. Some neurologists and brain health experts believe vitamin C limits the impact free radicals have on the brain. One study published in Alzheimer’s Disease & Associated Disorders revealed that a combination of vitamin E and vitamin C can reduce the prevalence and incidence of many different dementia-related disorders.
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4. Boosts Absorption of Iron
An iron deficiency can result in an array of health conditions, including dizziness, decreased energy levels, irritability, impaired cognitive function, and anemia. Researchers now know the human body can’t absorb or utilize dietary iron unless it is accompanied by vitamin C, which is one of the reasons many iron supplements also contain a small dose of ascorbic acid. Some of the foods that contain both vitamin C and iron include sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, and bell peppers.
5. Strengthens the Immune System
The common cold can be extremely dangerous for seniors with compromised immune systems, which is why they should constantly be eating foods that increase the production of white blood cells and T-cells. In addition to stimulating the production of those cells, vitamin C also suppresses some of the symptoms of the common cold. During the cold and flu season, seniors should consider taking a supplement that contains either ascorbic acid or calcium ascorbate.
Helping older adults get the vitamins they need can be challenging. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. McKinney, TX, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (972) 548-0392 today.