6 things to know about supplementing your nutrition as you get older

Our need for good nutrition amplifies with age, yet the intricate nuances of individual lifestyle and diet often necessitates a closer look. Enter the realm of supplementation—a gateway to unlocking the potential of personalised nutrition.

By Citro partner Vitable

Eating a healthy diet is vital as we age but if your dietary intake is inadequate then supplementation may be worth considering.

Supplements are usually taken as tablets, capsules or powders, or as a liquid drink and give you nutrients that might be missing from your diet.  Here are 6 things to know about supplementing your nutrition.

1. Check with your doctor before you start supplements

Like any medicine, vitamins can have side effects or interact in unwanted ways with other medicines.  

For example, fish oil interacts with some blood pressure medications and blood thinning drugs.

Vitamins should only be used as directed on the label, and you should consult a health professional if you experience any health issues while taking a vitamin.

2. It's always best to eat a healthy diet

Getting most of your nutrients by eating a wide range of different foods (with plenty of vegetables) is the best way to support your health.

Using every meal and snack for optimal nutrition makes sense as we get older. You’ll find loads of diet and health information on Citro, including:

But sometimes supplementation is medically necessary.

For example, taking a vitamin D supplement can help maintain and support bone mineralisation in someone with a vitamin D deficiency. Having strong bones can prevent dangerous fractures from falls.

Supplementing is best when personalised to you

All of us have unique physiology - some of us get heartburn, some of us don’t. Some of us need to boost our calcium intake, some of us don’t.

Some of us choose to eat a vegan diet - and may need to supplement calcium, iron, vitamins B12 and D, and zinc - while some of us prefer to eat meat every day of the week,

Personalising supplements to your health requirements and dietary habits makes sense.

Citro partner Vitable has an online quiz developed by health experts and naturopaths, it tailors a personalised vitamin plan to your diet, lifestyle and health goals like:

The online quiz will ask your age and gender, as well as a little about family history, whether you’ve had conditions like gallstones, what your energy levels are like and other questions that relate to your health priorities.

The quiz then recommends supplements and highlights the researched-benefits of its recommendations.

3. Check where your supplements are manufactured

There have been instances of overseas-manufactured supplements bought by Australians being contaminated.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates all vitamins sold legally in Australia.

All medicines that are approved for supply in Australia include either an AUST R number or an AUST L number on their label.

  • AUST R numbers are for registered medicines that the TGA has evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy.
  • AUST L numbers are for low-risk listed medicines, such as most vitamin products, that the TGA regulates for safety and quality only.

Supplements that do not display these numbers may not be approved for sale in Australia.  

Some products sold online may not be approved for sale in Australia even though you can buy them here.

4. Customised supplementation delivered to you

Personalised supplementation considers individual factors like environment and lifestyle to develop customised regimes personalised to health and nutrition goals.

New companies like Vitable will not only assess your dietary needs but also deliver your customised vitamins and supplements each month.

These services are helpful if you are:

Forgetful. Experts estimate that 50% of people don’t take their medications correctly. Personalised supplements delivered to your door make it easier to take a vitamin daily.

Post-menopausal. Before menopause, John Hopkins Medicine says you should have about 1,000 mg of calcium daily. After menopause, you should have up to 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Vitamin D is also very important for calcium absorption and bone formation. Vitamin D can greatly cut your risk of spinal fractures. But, too much calcium or vitamin D can cause kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, especially if you have kidney problems. A customized vitamin company typically takes age and gender into account, so you can receive a supplement that addresses these deficiencies.

Vegetarian or vegan. People who exclude some or all animal products from their diet may find it harder to obtain nutrients such as protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. A personalised vitamin that considers diet can target these with supplementation.

5. Assess changing supplementation needs as you age or change diet

Your micronutrient needs may change throughout your life as you age, change your diet or develop health conditions.

These requirements can also change with the seasons. For example, reduced exposure to sunlight during winter can lead to some people developing vitamin D deficiency.

You can update your personalised vitamin plan to keep up with these changes.

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Citro Card exclusive offer:

Enjoy $10 cashback when you subscribe to Vitable’s home-delivered vitamin packs.  See terms and conditions. The offer is only available to those who pay through their Citro Card. Want your own card? Get the Citro App for iPhone or Android.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet. The information on this page is general information and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Do not use the information found on this page as a substitute for professional health care advice. The Vitable quiz is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Terms & Conditions apply. When using this discount you will be signed up to a monthly flexible subscription. Edit or cancel at any time in your online account.

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