Healthy Beginnings

What supplements should active adults regularly take?

Dr. Michael Gerber is a homeopathic medical practitioner, president and co-owner of Gerber Medical Clinic in Reno, and president of the Nevada Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association. Photo: Courtesy of Gerber Medical Clinic

The actively aging community is recommended to introduce natural supplements into their diet in order to ramp up enough nutrients to sustain health longevity and protect against disease and other ailments.

“First of all, the CDC and other federal organizations have noted nutrient deficiencies in the U.S. population,” Neil Levin, senior nutrition education manager for NOW Foods, which manufactures and distributes from Sparks, Nevada, recently told Healthy Beginnings. “The percent is over 10 percent with B6 and iron, and there are significant amounts of people with low vitamin D, though it’s different for age groups.”

Levin explained that most Americans take multivitamins to compensate for areas of the diet known to become deficient in adults age 50 and over.

The issue lies in calculating daily nutritional values for the modern American adult. USDA food tables from the 1940s are still dictating dietary guidelines in 2018 and don’t take into account the fact we don’t grow the same food varieties or even use the same soil, fertilizers, pesticides, storage and distribution methods.

“People assume they are getting certain nutrition, but when we run tests, they show trace minerals in fruits and vegetables dropping by 76 percent since 1940,” Levin says. “They call that the dilution effect, that the food is more diluted in nutrients. Even iron is about half (the level it was in the 1940s) in meat.”

Vitamin D3 can help reduce the instance of cancer and osteoporosis. Photo: NOW Foods

This likely means that the problem of nutrient deficiency in the U.S. — as measured through outdated mechanisms — is likely worse than we realize.

Michael Gerber, MD, HMD, is a homeopathic medical practitioner, president and co-owner of Gerber Medical Clinic in Reno, and president of the Nevada Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association (NHIMA) of 19 years, focused on continuing medical education for homeopathic licensees in Nevada.

His patients regularly face family practice issues, sleep challenges and chronic illnesses, to name a few symptoms.

“There is an infinite number of supplements for healthy aging: vitamins, minerals, hormones, amino acids, therapeutic mushrooms for adrenal health — everyone’s adrenals are burnt out if they have a lot of stress,” Dr. Gerber told Healthy Beginnings. “If they’re experiencing insomnia, anxiety and fatigue, we offer an injection of the adrenal complex. We give B12 and folate, which are important for memory as we age and for adrenal support.”

Importance of vitamins C and D

Both Levin and Gerber expressed the country’s state of subclinical scurvy due to vitamin D and C deficiencies in particular.

Maca root is considered a superfood rich in antioxidants that improves energy level, mood and memory; is beneficial for women’s sexual health; balances estrogen levels; and boosts male fertility. Photo: NOW Foods

For those with skin concerns avoiding spending much time outside, a vitamin D supplement could be a wonderful alternative to creating vitamin D through skin exposure to sunlight; oftentimes it isn’t possible to get enough vitamin D naturally through the skin.

Those deficient in vitamin D can experience a weaker immune system, tiredness, bone and muscle pain, depression, hair loss, rickets and borderline scurvy. It is important to note that while vitamin D helps you absorb calcium, vitamin K gets calcium out of the blood stream and into the tissues, keeping it from forming deposits in arteries.

Vitamin C, meanwhile, is a premier nutrient to the body, something that we need every day and is in charge of hundreds of interactions in the body.

Those deficient in vitamin C can experience weakened balance and weakened joint health of the shoulders, knees, hips and back.

“Elastin is connective tissue predominant in arteries and coronary arteries of the heart, which is a high pressure system and is working thousands of times a day,” Dr. Gerber said. “If vitamin C is worn out those guys break down and the body tries to plug up holes by sticking plaque in there and the result is more closure of the coronary arteries, which are everywhere, and can lead to stroke.”

Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart disease and help lower blood pressure. Photo: NOW Foods

Other importance supplements:

Overall, Levin and Gerber recommend a variety of vitamins, minerals and natural supplements for an array of ailments.

For those looking to purchase a multivitamin, the experts recommend choosing a more expensive option to ensure quality, rather than going with the cheapest brand available.

Below is a quick list of common symptoms and remedies:

Goiter: Iodine deficiency

Gum issues: Vitamin C deficiency

Decreased smell/taste: Zinc deficiency

Muscle soreness/tightness: Magnesium deficiency

Depressed mood: Vitamin D deficiency

Risk of cardiovascular disease: Iron deficiency

Calcium deposits in arteries: Vitamin K deficiency

Vitamin C facilitates growth and repair of the body’s tissues and is relevant to many different functioning systems of the body used daily including the immune system and bone development. Photo: NOW Foods

Odd tips and facts, according to the experts

For better cognitive performance, Omega-3 fats found in fish oils are much stronger than plant-based Omega-3s like flax, chia or hemp seed oils.

For better bone and joint health, introduce glucosamine chondroitin into the diet for long-term structural support.

In Europe, the continent’s version of the FDA has approved plans for vitamin D to prevent sways and falls for balance.

Melatonin isn’t just for regulating sleep — it also helps regulate normal circadian cycles in the body. like stomach acid, stress hormones and GI issues.

Chelation therapy has been around since the 1950s and works by pulling heavy metals and calcium out of arteries. A lifetime supply of heavy metal toxicity is common as metals are introduced to the body through fish, food, makeup, frequently reloading firearms and more. People should refrain from using aluminum cooking utensils and underarm deodorants as heavy metal toxicity is related to Alzheimers, diabetes and poor brain function later in life.