When it comes to certain supplements, age matters. Tea National Institute on Aging states, “Dietary supplements can be beneficial at any age, but they can also have unwanted side effects, such as unsafe prescription drug interactions. They could also not work at all.” As our bodies change, so do our needs so understanding which supplements to take at what stage in life can make a big difference healthwise. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share which supplements to avoid after 50 and why. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Dr. Jacob Hascalovici MD, PhD, Clearing Chief Medical Officer tells us, “While iron supplements can benefit people with anemia, the usefulness of copper and iron supplementation drops off rapidly for women after the age of 50. In fact, these supplements may actually raise the risk of Alzheimer’s and heart disease, so it’s advised to avoid them after 50 or so. Copper and iron can be found in some meats, leafy greens, beans, and nuts.”
Becca Rhoades, PharmDPharmacist at Ella Community Pharmacy shares, “Everyone needs the required daily dose of multivitamins, but an excess of anything can be harmful. Excess vitamin B6 can cause neurological problems such as imbalance and peripheral neuropathy. Garlic and ginger supplements other than natural food sources can increase the risk of bleeding in those taking blood thinners. An excess of vitamin A as we age can cause toxicity and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Consult with a provider or pharmacist before eating foods like energy bars and protein powders that claim the addition of vitamin/mineral supplements.”
Trista BestMPH, RD, LD says, “Herbal supplements are becoming increasingly more popular and commonplace across ages and generations. However, there is reason to be cautious before adding one to your daily regimen, especially for those over the age of 50. Ashwagandha, an herb that has been used for centuries for its many medicinal purposes, but those over the age of 50 should reconsider. This herbal supplement can cause blood pressure to drop dangerously low, especially for those on blood pressure medications. The same is true for those with diabetes or at risk for blood sugar conditions, ashwagandha can interfere with diabetes medications and cause blood sugar to drop too low.”
Rachel Fine, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with To The Pointe Nutrition states, “I don’t suggest a biotin supplement, specifically one marketed for hair, nails, and skin. Although biotin deficiency is known to cause symptoms like dry, thinning hair, biotin deficiency is very rare and the recommended daily intake of biotin is one that can be easily obtained from our diet with the inclusion of foods like eggs, seeds, and nuts. research shows that biotin may be deficient in those experiencing hair loss there is currently insufficient data to support the use of biotin supplements in the treatment for thinning hair.”
Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the candida-diet explains, “It can be tempting to turn to a detoxification supplement as metabolism begins to slow and weight slowly trends upward. After the age of 50 it can be difficult to lose this weight, but the promise of a quick jump start to weight loss that detox supplements offer can be dangerous for those in this age category and above. These supplements can often induce diarrhea and other gastrointestinal conditions. This can result in nutrient deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and gut dysbiosis. For those over the age of 50 these side effects can worsen already present health conditions. Dehydration can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and even seizures. Nutrient deficiencies can weaken the immune system, among many other serious issues, which can put this group of individuals at higher risk for illness.”
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more