Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Close

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

AARP Guide

Vitamins From A to Z

What the 50-plus need to know

Continue your AARP Benefits
Discounts, award-winning magazine & more for as little as $1 per month. Renew today!

Calcium

How much do you need? Men to age 70: 1000 mg (then 1200 at 71+). Women, 1200 mg starting at age 51

Why you need it: Calcium helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones; needed for normal heartbeat; helps with blood clotting.

Good to know: The body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium, so if you use calcium supplements choose one that contains D. Recent studies have linked calcium pills to increased risk of heart attack.

Food sources: Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, bok choy, calcium-fortified orange juice.

Chromium

How much do you need? Men: 30 mcg. Women: 20 mcg

Why you need it: Chromium helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Good to know: There has been interest in treating high glucose levels and type 2 diabetes with supplemental chromium, but research to date is inconclusive.

Food sources: Meat, chicken, broccoli, apples, fish, grape juice.

Iodine

How much do you need? Men and women: 150 mcg

Why you need it: Dietary iodine is necessary for normal thyroid function; prevents goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland.

Good to know: Deficiency occurs more often in women than men; when buying salt, choose one labeled "iodized."

Food sources: Seafood, iodized salt.

Iron

How much do you need? Men and women: 8 mg

Why you need it: Dietary iron is essential for healthy red blood cells.

Good to know: Men and women over 50 generally should not take a mutivitamin containing iron unless they have been diagnosed with iron deficiency.

Food sources: Meat, eggs, fortified bread and grain products.

Magnesium

How much do you need? Men: 420 mg. Women: 320 mg

Why you need it:
Magnesium supports a healthy immune system; helps keep bones strong; regulates heart rhythm.

Good to know: Magnesium-rich foods may help protect against the development of type 2 diabetes; may also decrease the risk of high blood pressure in women.

Food sources: Whole grains, nuts, green vegetables.

Potassium

How much do you need? Men and women: 4700 mg

Why you need it:
Potassium is crucial for heart, kidney, muscle, nerve function; important in controlling blood pressure; works with sodium to maintain the body's water balance.

Good to know: With age, kidneys become less able to remove potassium from blood, so speak with your doctor before taking supplements. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables generally provides sufficient potassium.

Food sources: Cantaloupe, bananas, yogurt, leafy green vegetables and sweet potatoes.

Selenium

How much do you need? Men and women: 55 mcg

Why you need it: Selenium helps make special proteins that play a role in preventing cell damage.

Good to know:
May reduce the risk of certain cancers, including lung, colorectal and prostate, although not all studies have found this effect.

Food sources:
Red meat, fish, chicken, vegetables.

Zinc

How much do you need? Men: 11 mg. Women: 8 mg

Why you need it: Aids in wound healing; keeps sense of smell and taste sharp.

Good to know: Many people take zinc to ease the miseries of a common cold, but its effect is controversial; some studies suggest zinc can speed recovery, others conclude it doesn't work. Some studies show that taking a combination of antioxidants and zinc reduces the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.

Food sources:
Fortified cereals, red meat, eggs, seafood.


Next: What you should know about supplements. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do