Figuring out your nutritional needs has, until recently, been fairly generic and based upon population data. There are government agencies that determine the broad needs of different subsets of the population largely based upon age and gender. This data is presented in tables that provide ranges of intakes for each nutrient that are quite broad and primarily designed to assure a minimal level of a given nutrient such that a deficiency doesn’t occur. These Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations provide a framework but are not designed to determine any one individual’s optimum intakes of each of the essential nutrients.
We are now moving into an era of more personalized nutrition where, given the appropriate information, a very precise nutrition program can be recommended that more specifically addresses YOUR needs. And the more information that goes into the equation, the more accurate the recommendations will be for you. Meology™ by Shaklee is an entry into personalized nutrition—its powerful algorithm partnered with its precise recommendations of our proven Shaklee products make it “best in class.” Let me show you just how powerful personalized nutrition is.
So let’s start with gender.
Women have different nutrient needs than men, including needing fewer calories and less protein than men, but let’s focus primarily on vitamin and mineral needs. Despite women being smaller and needing fewer calories than men, they actually have higher needs of some nutrients, specifically calcium, iron, folate, and iodine. Just within these four nutrients, there are multiple considerations for women that may direct vastly different recommendations.
Let’s look at recommendations for two different 42-year-old women—Joan and Mary.
Calcium: The DRI is 1,300 mg/day. Joan is 42 years old and has three servings of dairy per day (~900 mg calcium), so she wouldn’t need any calcium product beyond what is provided in her multi. Mary is also 42 years old, but she eats no dairy and has a family history of osteoporosis, so Vita-Lea® (450 mg Ca) and four OsteoMatrix® (1,000 mg Ca) would be recommended to her.
Iron: The DRI is 18 mg/day for menstruating women, increasing to 27 mg during pregnancy. Joan is pregnant with her third child, so Vita-Lea® Women, which contains 18 mg of iron, would be recommended. To meet the additional needs of her pregnancy, she would be given the recommendation to discuss Iron Plus C Complex with her obstetrician. Mary has had a hysterectomy, so she doesn’t have additional iron needs beyond a healthy diet; therefore, Vita Lea Gold® (no iron) would be the correct multi for her.
Both women answered that they could use more energy. Because Joan is pregnant, B-Complex will be recommended. Mary listed fitness as her top goal, so her “Additional Product Recommendations” would include Energy Chews and Advanced Physique® 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein.
So it’s easy to see how very different the recommendations will be for any two people of the same age. In fact, there are over 110 million possible unique product recommendations through the Meology assessment!
Nutritional needs also change with age. In general, although calorie needs tend to decline with age due to slowing metabolism, the actual vitamin and mineral requirements remain the same or even increase over the age of 60. Also, we become less efficient at extracting nutrients out of food as we age, which makes the use of supplementation for older folks even more important than for younger adults. One of the important nutrients to be aware of getting enough of as you age is vitamin B12. Declining production of a compound called intrinsic factor in the stomachs of people over the age of 50 can result in low levels of this critical nutrient. This is why Vita Lea Gold contains four times the amount of B12 found in Vita Lea Women or Men.
Protein requirements increase with age due to the tendency for sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass that is associated with age. Maintaining your muscle mass is critically important to preventing frailty and falls—which can have devastating consequences. Sarcopenia is even associated with higher overall mortality!
Protein requirements for adults are 0.8 g protein/kg body weight, which means that a 140-lb woman should consume 50 g protein/day. It has been proposed that older folks need 1.2 g protein/kg body weight. This would translate to a 70-year-old woman who weighs 140 lbs actually needing 76 grams of protein per day! This is yet another fantastic reason to make sure that all the older folks in your life start every day with our Life Shake™, which delivers 20+ grams of high-quality plant protein.
So, take the time to personalize your nutrition with Meology today. We can help you create an optimum nutrition program designed to support and build health. Your future health thanks you.