15 Anti-Aging Supplements Worth Buying
Magic pills don’t exist, but promising research and expert backing make a compelling case for these anti-aging supplements—after you get the OK from your doctor, of course
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage. When taken orally, it may reduce arthritis pain, lessen swelling, ease stiffness, and lubricate joints. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a safe alternative for patients who can’t take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). “I personally take 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine daily for a bad knee,” says family-practice physician Richard Honaker, MD. Check out the best anti-aging products for every decade of life.
“We [in the medical community] are beginning to realize the anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D,” says Amanda Frick, ND, LAc. It builds bone, boosts immunity, guards against chronic ailments, and is responsible for increasing absorption of calcium and magnesium. If you’re still not sold on vitamin D as one of the anti-aging supplements to add to your regimen, Frick says it can also assist with weight loss when combined with lifestyle intervention. Low levels leave you vulnerable to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Look at these 14 treatments, including anti-aging supplements, doctors use to live longer.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It plays an integral role in the structure and suppleness of connective tissues, including skin. But as we get older, production diminishes, which is why it’s one of the more appealing anti-aging supplements from a beauty perspective. “In addition to promoting a youthful complexion, studies show that hydrolyzed collagen supplements may support both joint and bone health,” explains board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. For younger-looking skin, be sure to fill up on these foods—including vegetable sources that are great for vegetarians—that naturally boost collagen.
Want a youthful complexion? Start taking vitamin C. This naturally occurring antioxidant has been proven to decrease the effect of UV-induced photodamage. It’s also a critical factor for collagen synthesis. Vitamin C is one of the all-star anti-aging supplements because it works to prevent oxidative stress at the cellular level. Research demonstrates its positive impact on everything from cardiac health and vision to wrinkles and immunity. A University of Arizona study found a correlation between higher vitamin C levels and the fat-suppressing hormone adiponectin. Learn these 30 secrets that could add years to your life.
Feel drained? Coenzyme Q10 is vital for the production of mitochondrial energy and heart health. Clinical trials concluded that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. It also helps to protect cells against oxidative damage. The body produces less CoQ10 with advancing age, so it’s one of the anti-aging supplements experts are likely to recommend, especially for patients over 40 who are struggling with fatigue or cardiovascular issues. Check out these 15 signs your body is aging faster than you are.
“My personal favorite anti-aging supplement is still fairly unknown in the U.S., despite a long history in TCM [traditional Chinese medicine] and good clinical trials coming out in Europe,” says Elizabeth Trattner. AP, DOM, LAc. Sea buckthorn is loaded with antioxidants and omega-7 fatty acid, so it’s excellent for cellular rejuvenation. “Folks in the Far East, India, and Russia have used it for thousands of years to increase the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue.” High levels of unsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols, namely beta-sitosterol, are behind its cardioprotective abilities. And there’s promising research about its anticancer effects.
Vitamin B12 helps to make DNA and red blood cells. “This important nutrient is key for living a vibrant and energetic life,” Sophie Jaffe, a Los Angeles–based wellness expert, reveals. “Deficiencies are linked to lethargy, joint pain, and poor digestion.” Your body doesn’t produce vitamin B12, so you have to get it from animal-based foods or supplements. She recommends sublingual vitamin B12, which dissolves under your tongue and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Learn the 15 science-backed signs you could live to be 100.
Perhaps you take zinc when you have a sore throat, but this essential trace element is necessary for overall well-being. According to New York City–based plastic surgeon Michelle Yagoda, MD, it’s imperative for proper immune function, digestion, and sense of taste. And it’s even more important as you get older, which is why it’s included on our list of anti-aging supplements. Nutritional deficiency can leave you open to age-related chronic illnesses, including atherosclerosis, immunosenescence (weakening of the immune system), and cancer. Check out the 16 vitamins and supplements doctors actually take every day.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is a multitasking powerhouse that supports immune, cardiovascular, joint, vision, and metabolic function. A growing body of evidence indicates that it has positive effects on mood and memory. And, of course, we’d be remiss not to mention its beauty-boosting benefits for skin, hair, and nails. Fish oil is also responsible for preserving the length of telomeres, the protective caps at the end of chromosomes that keep DNA stable and shorten with age. “As with vitamin B12, you can’t make your own omega-3 fatty acids, so supplements are a must,” says Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. Stop believing these 10 anti-aging myths—dermatologists are begging you!
Known as the “mushroom of immortality,” red reishi is used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote wellness and longevity. Research suggests that it bolsters immunity, reduces fatigue, and increases cellular resistance to the aging effects of free radicals. According to Sarah Brewer, MSc, RNutr, adding red reishi to your daily regimen of anti-aging supplements could also lower your risk of hypertension. Find out 10 ways to live longer—from the world’s oldest people.
N-acetylcysteine, commonly referred to as NAC, is a precursor to glutathione. This powerful antioxidant is widely known to protect cell membranes, minimize the effects of stress, and reverse DNA damage. NAC is used in hospitals to treat acetaminophen overdoses. When people take it as a supplement, evidence suggests that it provides liver support and has a positive effect on metabolism. Avoid these 22 habits that are making you age faster.
Magnesium is essential for regulating insulin levels and blood pressure. It also supports restful sleep. Long-term deficiency is associated with an increased risk of many age-related diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, so it’s key among anti-aging supplements. “Magnesium citrate powder is a highly absorbable and can help restore depleted levels,” notes Carolyn Dean, MD, ND. Plus, it can be mixed with hot or cold water and sipped before bed.
Curcumin, a medicinal compound found in turmeric, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that ease the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. “It’s also shown to have DHT-blocking capabilities and helps with hair loss,” explains Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, FAAD. Beyond that, curcumin boosts levels of anti-aging proteins, balances cholesterol levels, and enhances cognitive function. Its potential role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s is currently being studied. Beyond that, it lessens the risk of developing diabetes, colon cancer, and fatty-liver disease. Chowing down on these 49 anti-aging foods might add years to your life.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in the skin of berries and grapes (yes, red wine, too). It has anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. And there’s strong evidence that it’s an activator of the SIRT1 gene, which regulates cellular longevity. It has extended the life span of many organisms, from yeast to fruit flies, which potentially makes it one of the more powerful anti-aging supplements. “Research is ongoing to determine if it has similar effects on humans,” says Claire Chang, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist. In studies involving people at risk of heart disease, resveratrol supplements were found to significantly lower cholesterol.
Astragalus, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, is an adaptogen: Natural healers believe it protects the body against stress. This medicinal herb is credited with elongating telomeres and rejuvenating cells. It also has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system. Some researchers believe that it may help prevent colds, and scientists are exploring its potential for broad application in aging. Don’t miss the 50 best healthy-eating tips for a longer, happier life.
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