When you’re young, taking herbal or sports supplements is of little or no consequence to you. When you start to get older, however, your body changes and the effects of these same supplements may change along with it.


Here are some things to consider:




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First off, it is very important to check with a doctor before starting any supplements. They say to do this at any age, but it is doubly important for your aging parents.




The main difference that could cause some serious health side effects is the medications that they are on. Certain medications interact with ingredients, and the potency of the drug can either increase or decrease by a significant amount.


When that happens, you’ll either have the outcome of taking the drug multiplied several times over or rendered nearly useless.


Both of these situations can cause death, so always check with their doctor or a pharmacist about any new supplement your aging parents propose.



Body Weight


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Believe it or not, the efficiency of some supplements can be magnified with people under a certain weight or require an increase in dosage over a higher weight. You may even see this on the bottle in the directions for use.


You probably wouldn’t have thought it, but that is particularly the case in the senior population. The processes in the body that would usually work quickly for a younger person will slow down for an older individual.


That means that the labels weight requirements for use may be off quite a bit for them than it would be for you, and it would be even more different for a young teen. In other words, you should be wary of the dosage requirements based on weight because they may not apply in the same way as they are advised for them.





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As we touched on, age slows the body’s processes down. The body can’t digest the supplements as quickly for one. You may be able to take a supplement and feel its effect in 30 minutes to an hour. However, it could take several hours for your parents to feel them.


This is in part due to a decrease in the efficiency of their GI tract.


Another reason for this is once it is starting to be digested, it may take a lot longer to get through the liver or even to the bloodstream. In both of these situations, something that would happen in seconds for your may take hours for them. That means that the timing of their supplementation may need to be entirely different from the label.


It is important for your parents to remember that even if they are taking this supplement to boost their health, the exact opposite could happen if they don’t take it at the right time. For example, if they were to take caffeine to help them run, but it doesn’t take effect until after they’re already done, they may be sitting at home with a pounding chest.


That is not only uncomfortable but stressful! Stress has been shown to lead to a heart attack, and stressing about an abnormally beating heart will undoubtedly compound that stress. This is definitely the wrong direction to be headed.



Get Answers


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Be sure to always consult with an expert before starting a supplement. You may not be able to tell your parents not to try something, but a licensed professional can usually get through to them.


If you feel like you need more help caring for your loved one who is interested in using supplements and you want to learn about our personal experiences with them, give us a call at (714) 289-7220, or you can email us here!