Home > Physical Changes with Age

We can say that maturity begins when 60% of the changes due to biological age have begun: In this sense, there is a decrease in the active cell mass, maximum oxygen consumption of the basal metabolic rate, total body water, bone mass, enzyme activity and hormonal and immune response.

Some of these changes particularly affect the nutritional aspects. Thus, decreased taste buds, lower perception of flavors and dental problems make food less pleasurable. The reduced production of hydrochloric acid, changes in renal function and reduced ability to digest, affect the absorption and digestion of food. Finally the loss of appetite and lower basal metabolic rate, contribute to anorexia and malnutrition. The different nutrient deficiency states are more common in older people. These nutritional problems can lead to organic changes resulting from the deficit of these nutrients, such as alterations of immune favoring infectious diseases.

Often the elderly presenting various chronic diseases that may influence nutritional status, such as diabetes, heart failure, respiratory failure, hypertension, osteoporosis, depression, etc. may also experience loss of taste, olfactory acuity, impaired masticatory function (sometimes with denture), dysphagia, decrease in salivary secretion, pancreatic insufficiency, and in many cases, constipation, intestinal motility reduction, etc.


MOUTH: Salivation is maintained, but decrease of taste and smell

STOMACH: Few changes (normal gastric secretion and pepsin secretion changes). Increased prevalence of H pylori infection. Increased gastric emptying time for liquids, not solids

SMALL INTESTINE : Likely decrease in calcium absorption

PANCREAS: Enzyme secretion decreases

SPLANICH FLOW: Decreases with aging

GASTROINTESTINAL MOTILITY: Intestinal transit can be slowed

Some habits are especially counterproductive in this age, alcohol intake increases the need for vitamin B, magnesium and zinc and reduces bone mass. Smoking can lead to malnutrition mainly because it curbs the appetite, but also increases the needs of certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, as smokers have a requirement of this vitamin 60 times greater than nonsmokers. Poor digestion, environmental toxins, unhealthy lifestyle habits and insufficient nutrients in our food make it necessary to incorporate supplements into our daily routine.