In 2016, the PAGB and HSIS commissioned a report – ‘The Hidden Health Challenges – the importance of nutrition as we age’. The report argues that there is a strong case to supplement our diet with some nutrients as we age, be this due to changes in our diet, habits and how we are unable to absorb all the nutrients we need. Its not all doom and gloom – there are options to stay healthy and well. Two supplements to contemplate as we age are Omega 3 oils and Vitamin D.
The consumption of oily fish, has been in decline for many decades. Due to taste, availability or childhood memories of unrefined Cod Liver Oil (as part of the post war health effort); the levels of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids consumption are universally low. These oils cannot be made by the body, we can only absorb them. They are a vital part of what makes us healthy. Government recommendations are to eat 2-3 portions of oily fish a week. Few it seems want to.
There have been many reports from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) about at risk groups for Vitamin D deficiency. Those >65 years of age are one group at risk. Age diminishes the bodies capacity to produce Vitamin D, without considering if we expose our skin to enough sunlight in the summer.