For cognitive and joint health, and also pain relief for senior patients, the best health supplements for seniors are prescribed on an individual basis
Just as all patients are not created alike, neither are all supplements. For example, there are particular types of supplements that are most beneficial for specific conditions and for certain ages, and the best health supplements for seniors are changing with the latest research.
With that in mind, we asked Michael Taylor, DC, Taylor Rehab & Disc Injury Center, about what kinds of supplements will help to support cognitive and joint health as well as pain relief for senior patients.
What follows is our interview, edited for length and clarity.
What supplements support cognitive and joint health, and also pain relief for senior patients?
For cognitive support in senior patients. we are looking at nootropic [a class of substances that can boost brain performance] supplements. Right now, many nootropic agents are often found in mushrooms. Other nootropic supplements are gingko biloba, guarana, and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA).
Any joint support program for senior or athletes starts with natural anti-inflammatory supplements such as turmeric and ginger. Fresh is always best, but supplements will also work. Omega-3 supplements also work to support joint health. The main nutritional support for seniors is glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate taken with vitamin C to help activate it in the body.
Many of the same supplements that are used for joint support are also used for joint pain. The main supplements used are turmeric, ginger, omega-3 or fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. The other supplement used is boswellia, also known as Indian Frankincense, another powerful anti-inflammatory.
Should all senior patients be taking these supplements?
No, not all seniors need to be taking supplements for cognitive impairment, joint pain, or osteoarthritis. Supplements are just that, a supplement to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
If a patient does not experience any symptoms of joint pain or joint discomfort, there is no clinical need for supplementation.
When should chiropractors recommend these supplements to their senior patients?
A DC should only recommend certain supplements for senior patients when deemed clinically appropriate. Seniors can and do ask regarding supplements.
The DC who does make a recommendation of a supplement needs to consider any other supplements and medication that the patient may be taking.
What are the biggest mistakes patients can make when it comes to adding some of these best supplements for seniors to their diets?
The biggest mistake a patient can make when adding supplements to their diet for these conditions is that they may be taking an unnecessary supplement, and it could interact with a prescription medication that they may be taking.
A patient should definitely speak to their pharmacist if they are taking any other medication along with recommended supplements.
Supplements are there to help us along with things that we don’t get from our everyday lives. If we eat properly, get exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle, many can supplement their diet with just a quality multivitamin.