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Medicine check-ups for older adults

Vitamins, minerals and supplements

​Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements are sometimes used to replace what is missing in your diet. These include:

  • iron
  • calcium
  • vitamin D
  • glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin
  • vitamin B12
  • folate
  • vitamin C
  • beta carotene
  • lutein


Iron, B12, and folate make healthy red blood cells. B12 also keeps your brain and nervous system working well.

Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D make bones and muscles strong. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin may help to keep your joints healthy.

Other supplements, such as lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin C, help to keep your eyes healthy and prevent macular degeneration (an eye condition that affects your sight).


Some vitamin and mineral supplements can affect how well prescription medicines work. They can also cause side effects. For example, calcium can build up in the kidneys and cause kidney stones. Iron can cause constipation.

Do you need a medicine check-up?

Go over all of your medicines, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements with your healthcare provider regularly. It’s important to stay within the normal, daily limits of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements and not take too much. You may find that your health and appetite get better if you take fewer medicines and supplements.

Current as of: March 5, 2020

Author: Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network