- Humans all have the same need for minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and fat
- Seniors sometimes need an extra boost of vitamins D, B12, Calcium, B6, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)
- Liquid multivitamins can be an easier consumption method for seniors who may struggle to swallow pills
Liquid Multivitamin for Seniors
Have you ever wondered, “What are the best nutritional supplements for elderly people?” We may be a bit biased, but we think that liquid multivitamins are a fantastic option. (Don’t worry, we’ll explain why later!)
In fact, we feel that liquid multivitamins are an excellent choice for the whole family. It may be a bit unexpected in this day and age where there are so many vitamin choices for the entire family, but all people share the main nutritional gaps in their diet, whether they are kids, adults or elderly. All human beings share the same need for minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and fat (1). Of course, we also need water and Omega 3 fatty acids (2). Menstruating women sometimes require more iron, and pregnant women need to take a special vitamin that has plenty of folic acid, of course (3). Beyond that, the only significant variation in nutrient needs would be dosage.
With this in mind, taking daily vitamins gets a lot easier. If you have liquid vitamins for kids, you can use that same liquid multivitamin for seniors, with just a small dosage adjustment. This also means that the best liquid vitamin for adults would be the same as/comparable to the best liquid vitamin for all family members. Of course, flavor matters more for kids, so if there’s a wide range of ages, from child all the way to senior, ensure that the liquid multivitamin you choose for your family has been kid-tested and approved!
We have included for you the best supplements for seniors (in case of wider nutritional gaps not already covered by multivitamins), the best liquid multivitamins for the elderly, and some general notes regarding dosage for liquid vitamins. As always, a reference section is included at the end, should you desire to do additional research on any of the subjects we’ve covered here. Without further ado, here are some excellent recommendations for senior supplements:
Best Supplements for Seniors
There are a few vitamins that seniors sometimes need an extra boost of. The best supplements for seniors include vitamins D, B12, Calcium, B6, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) (4). Vitamin D and B12 also aid in energizing seniors. Life Extension Liquid Vitamin D3 is mint-flavored and contains 50 mcg of D3. Another good vitamin D brand is Mary Ruth’s, which comes in a spray bottle. Mary Ruth’s B-Complex drops are cherry-flavored and contain B6 (2mg) and B12 (1500 mcg). Live Better’s vitamin B liquid is another good choice. It is raspberry flavored with 2 mg of B6 and 1000 mcg of B12.
Mary Ruth’s also carries an Extra Strength Nighttime Multimineral with 150 mg of Calcium, along with other minerals such as zinc and copper. If you’d rather have a standalone calcium supplement, Tropical Oasis makes a calcium magnesium supplement. Nootropics Depot makes an Acetyl-L-Carnitine powder that you can add to food or drink is a bit tougher to find in liquid form. Note: L-carnitine is not the same as acetyl-L-carnitine, although they are slightly different forms of the same amino acid. L-carnitine is usually used to aid in weight management and exercise, whereas ALCAR is helpful for supporting brain health (5). Brain-supporting ALCAR and bone-building calcium are some of the best vitamins for 80 year old women since they are more at risk for dementia, Alzheimer's (6), and osteoporosis (7). Vitamin D is also helpful for post-menopausal women (8).
Nature’s Way Alive! Men’s 50+ gummy multivitamin is one of the best multivitamins for 60 year old men, along with SmartyPants Men’s Formula Daily Gummy Vitamin. Centrum Multivitamin for men is another good option. Please be aware, however, that centrum is a pill and the other two are gummy vitamins - something that can be problematic for those who have swallowing issues. Dysphasia (trouble swallowing) is an issue we will touch on in the next section.
Best Liquid Vitamins for Elderly
When it comes to vitamins for seniors, there are certain factors that should be considered. One factor of primary importance is that, as adults reach their golden years, they can sometimes experience difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). This affliction is more predominant in those with neurological disorders (MS, muscular dystrophy, Parkinsons), who’ve experienced neurological damage (stroke, brain or spinal cord injury), Zenker’s diverticulum, or cancer (9).
This is a serious issue, as swallowing pills can be a major choking hazard. In fact, over three-quarters of pill-related choking incidents reported between 2006 and 2015 occured in people over the age of 65 (10). For this reason, the vast majority of vitamin recommendations for seniors have been in liquid form unless otherwise noted.
Another benefit of liquids (for seniors especially, considering the risks associated with dysphasia involve malnutrition) is that they are more easily absorbed by the body than pills. Liquid vitamins take 1-4 minutes to assimilate, whereas pills take 20-30 minutes to break down. This has to happen before they can even begin to assimilate into the body. Need another reason to choose liquid vitamins? The body uses 98% of liquid extracts, but only 39-53% of capsules or tablets (11).
Every senior has different needs. Those with diabetes need to take extra factors into consideration when it comes to nutrition, and it doesn’t hurt to look for specially formulated liquid supplements. The best vitamins for seniors with diabetes are Nuturna Blood Sugar Support (these are also great vitamins for seniors’ energy), and Balanced Essentials Plus, which has 13 vitamins and 62 minerals and is berry flavored.
As far as standalone supplements that benefit diabetics, those are chromium (which may improve glucose tolerance), vitamin D (which can increase insulin sensitivity by 60%), and selenium (selenium deficiency and risk of diabetes are linked, although too much selenium is dangerous, so consult a doctor first). It may be helpful to include these vitamins that diabetes tend to have lower amounts of (or that may lower the risk of comorbidities: calcium/vitamin D (since diabetics are at higher risk of osteoporosis/bone fractures), B12 (metformin can increase risk of B12 deficiency, and B12 deficiency increases the risk of neuropathy), and folic acid, which boosts heart health (12).
If you’re looking for immunity-boosting benefits, the best liquid vitamins for immune system health are Natural Vitality Organic Life Vitamins, IntraMax 2.0 and Nature’s Plus Source of Life Gold Liquid. The Nature’s Plus one comes in Tropical fruit flavor, and is packed with over 20 vitamins and minerals. IntraMax 2.0 is peach mango flavored and is enriched with 71 trace minerals. Natural Vitality Organic Life Vitamins have over 13 vitamins and minerals and contain aloe vera, along with several superfoods.
The best liquid multivitamin for men is Tropical Oasis Men’s Mega Premium Multivitamin. This has CoQ10 and is packed with 100 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support muscle growth, heart and brain functions. Some of the vitamins it contains are A, C, D, E, B6, and B12, in addition to minerals like calcium, iron, and selenium. If you’re looking for a good liquid vitamin for adults, try Tropical Oasis’ Mega Premium Multi-Vitamin, which has an anti-aging formula.
Liquid Multivitamin and Mineral
Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is a difference between multivitamins and a multivitamin and multimineral. Multivitamins are beneficial, sure. They offer vitamins that you may be lacking, which is very helpful. But a multivitamin and multimineral offers all the benefits of a multivitamin while adding another crucial component: minerals.
There are minerals the body needs more of (macrominerals) and other minerals that we need small quantities of (trace minerals). The macrominerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium. Examples of trace minerals are chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, selenium and zinc (13).
The best multivitamin syrup for adults would be a formulation that contains both. If you’re interested in a liquid multivitamin and mineral, Country Life Multivitamin and Mineral Complex is a good choice. It has a natural mango flavor and contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, and chromium. Another great choice (and one that’s already been listed above) is Mega Premium Multi-Vitamin, which contains iron, selenium, and chromium.
Most of the above choices are unclear as to whether they are organic liquid vitamins, but MaryRuth’s Liquid Morning Multivitamin is organic and an extremely health-conscious choice, as it contains zero sugar, dairy, fat, soy, or gluten. It also has zinc and chromium, putting them among the best liquid vitamins for elderly diabetics as well.
Multivitamin Liquid Dose
Now that we know why liquid multivitamins are a great option for all ages, especially seniors/the elderly, what is the correct dosage? Well, that depends on the product. Most - if not all - liquid multivitamins have dosing instructions right on the bottle. That should give a clear idea of the multivitamin syrup dosage for adults. Since vitamin formulas vary, so does the dosage. The instructions on the bottle you choose should be sufficient regarding dosage, but if you worry that you may get too many vitamins, let us share some information that may set your mind at ease.
The truth is, it’s extremely difficult (almost impossible) to overdose on a multivitamin and mineral. You may notice that vitamins labels often have abbreviations such as RDA/AI, DV, or UL. Allow us to explain what all of those mean before moving on. RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) and AI (Adequate Intake) mean the same basic thing: this is how much of the vitamin you need to stay healthy and nourished.
The DV (Daily Value) is sometimes the same as the RDA, and is usually utilized on supplements due to a lack of space on the label. It’s essentially the amount of a vitamin or nutrient that a person with a 2,000 calorie diet should consume daily. The UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) is the maximum amount that you can safely take without risk of overdose or side effects. With many vitamins and minerals, a person can safely take doses much higher than the RDA or DV without coming close to the UL (14).
You may be inclined to think that multivitamin dosage for infants would be far lower than the dosage for adults, based on the vast weight difference. There is definitely truth to that, since dosage depends on the age and weight of the person. For example, babies 6 months and under need 0.4 mcg of B12 a day(15), whereas adults need 2.45 mcg a day (16). For this reason, all liquid multivitamin doses for children and infants should be adjusted (smaller doses) in order not to exceed their UL.
Along the lines of dosage, one of the questions you might have is when to take your multivitamin. The best multivitamin dosage time varies for every individual, but it’s best to keep three things in mind when choosing your ideal time. First, choose a time of day that will be easy to remember. Second, remember to take your vitamin with meals so that stomach discomfort will be less likely.
Third, choose a mealtime that is consistently higher in fat, since fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K require fat to be absorbed properly. Of course, there are drug interactions to consider as well, since taking one can sometimes interfere with the other. If you find you take a medication that interferes with the body’s ability to absorb your vitamins, you may want to consider taking those at different times (17).
We trust that this information is helpful for you as you navigate through finding suitable multivitamins for seniors, and hope to have expanded your horizons toward thinking about the benefits of liquid vitamins that can be adjusted to suit the entire family’s needs. In terms of simplicity and versatility, there is no better option. Here’s to the health of you and your family!
- Live Better Team. “How Nutrition for Children Differs From Adults and What to Do About It.” Revere Health, 14 March 2016, https://reverehealth.com/live-better/nutrition-for-children-differs-from-adults/. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- White, Ross. “7 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs.” Wellness Daily, 5 June 2018, https://www.wellnessdaily.com.au/health/7-essential-nutrients-your-body-needs. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- Muth, Natalie. “Do Men and Women have Different Nutritional Needs?” ACE, 21 March 2012, https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/2461/do-men-and-women-have-different-nutritional-needs/#:~:text=Although the recommended breakdown of,higher vitamin and mineral needs. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- Brody, Barbara. “The Only 5 Supplements Older Adults Need to Know.” The Only 5 Supplements Older Adults Need to Know, 10 May 2018, https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/supplements-older-adults-need-know/#:~:text=Along with calcium and vitamins,and chicken are good sources. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- Sunderman, Amy. “What's the Difference Between L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine?” Swanson Vitamins, 27 February 2019, https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-l-carnitine-and-acetyl-l-carnitine/. Accessed 15 April 2021.
- Alzheimer's Association. “Why Does Alzheimer's Disease Affect More Women Than Men?” Alzheimer's Association, 11 February 2016, https://www.alz.org/blog/alz/february_2016/why_does_alzheimer_s_disease_affect_more_women_tha. Accessed 15 April 2021.
- Halvorsen, Rodney. “Osteoporosis: Why It Affects More Women than Men.” Aurora Health Care, 9 February 2016, https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/patients-visitors/blog/osteoporosis-why-it-affects-more-women-than-men. Accessed 15 April 2021.
- Doheny, Kathleen. “Do Older Adults Need Vitamins, Supplements?” WebMD, 30 November 2012, https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20121130/older-adults-vitamins-supplements#1. Accessed 16 April 2021.
- Mayo Clinic. “Dysphagia.” Mayo Clinic, 17 October 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dysphagia/symptoms-causes/syc-20372028#:~:text=Due to natural aging and,a normal sign of aging. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- Gordon, Serena. “Supplement Pills Can Pose Choking Risk for Seniors, Study Finds.” Medicine Net, 19 August 2019, https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=223851. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- Medicare Europe. “Liquids vs Pills.” Medicare Europe, 27 September 2015, https://medicare-europe.co.uk/science-clinical-data/liquids-vs-pills.html/. Accessed 14 April 2021.
- Stein, Natalie. “Best Multivitamins for Diabetes.” Lark, 5 March 2019, https://www.lark.com/blog/best-multivitamins-for-diabetes/. Accessed 16 April 2021.
- Johnson, Larry. “Overview of Minerals.” Merck Manuals, June 2020, https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/disorders-of-nutrition/minerals/overview-of-minerals. Accessed 16 April 2021.
- Felson, Sabrina. “Vitamins and Minerals: How Much Should You Take?” WebMD, 30 July 2020, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/vitamins-minerals-how-much-should-you-take. Accessed 16 April 2021.
- Hiya Health. “Can Kids Take Vitamin B12?” Hiya Health, 12 September 2017, https://hiyahealth.com/blogs/news/can-kids-take-vitamin-b12#:~:text=Infants aged 6 months and,mcg of B12 per day. Accessed 16 April 2021.
- Groves, Melissa. “Vitamin B12 Dosage: How Much Should You Take per Day?” Healthline, 29 August 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-dosage. Accessed 16 April 2021.
- Nature's Best. “When is the Best Time to Take a Multivitamin.” Nature's Best, 22 July 2020, https://www.naturesbest.co.uk/pharmacy/pharmacy-health-library/when-is-the-best-time-to-take-a-multivitamin/. Accessed 16 April 2021.
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