People worldwide are living longer. Today for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their 60s and beyond. By 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years or older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015. Today, 125 million people are aged 80 years or older. By 2050, there will be almost this many (120 million) living in China alone and 434 million people in this age group worldwide. By 2050, 80% of all older people will live in low- and middle-income countries.
At the biological level, aging results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, a growing risk of disease and ultimately, death. These changes are neither linear nor consistent and they are only loosely associated with a person’s age in years. While some 70-year-olds enjoy extremely good health and functioning, other 70-year-olds are frail and require significant help from others.
Aging, which can be defined as the “time-related deterioration of the physiological functions necessary for survival and fertility,” is a process that most people would like to slow. Some of its main causes include accumulated cellular damage caused by reactive molecules known as free radicals and the shortening of telomeres, which are the structures located at the ends of chromosomes that play an important role in cellular division.
While aging is inevitable, increasing the human lifespan and slowing the aging process has been a focus of scientific research for decades. Scientists have identified a large number of substances that have anti-aging properties, many of which can be taken as supplements by those looking for natural ways to decelerate the aging process and prevent age-related disease.
Some supplements known to have anti-aging properties are:
- The main active compound is turmeric, which has been shown to possess powerful anti-aging properties and that are attributed to its potent antioxidant potential.
- Cellular senescence occurs when cells stop dividing. As you age, senescent cells accumulate, which is believed to accelerate aging and disease progression. Research demonstrates that curcumin activates certain proteins including sirtuins and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps delay cellular senescence and promotes longevity.
- It has been shown to combat cellular damage and significantly increase the lifespan of fruit flies, roundworms and mice. This compound has been shown to postpone age-related disease and alleviate age-related symptoms as well. This may be why turmeric intake has been associated with a reduced risk of age-related mental decline in humans.
- You can increase your curcumin intake by using turmeric in recipes or taking curcumin supplements.
- Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a polyphenol compound concentrated in green tea. It offers health benefits such as reducing risk of certain cancers as well as heart disease benefits.
- Among EGCG’s diverse array of potential health-promoting properties is its ability to promote longevity and protect against age-related disease development.
- It may slow aging by restoring mitochondrial function in cells and acting on pathways involved in aging, including the AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway (AMPK).
- Green tea intake has been associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality, diabetes, stroke and heart-disease-related death. Plus, animal studies have shown that it can protect against skin aging and wrinkles caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.
- It can be consumed by drinking green tea or taking concentrated supplements.
- Is promoted as a fountain of youth for its potential to reduce the appearance of skin aging.
- It’s an integral component of the skin that helps to maintain its structure. As we age collagen production slows, leading to collagen loss in the skin that accelerates signs of aging like wrinkles.
- A 2019 study in 72 women demonstrated that taking a supplement that contained 2.5 grams of collagen, along with several other ingredients including biotin, per day for 12 weeks significantly improved skin hydration, roughness and elasticity.
- Many types of collagen supplements are on the market, including powders and capsules.
- Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that our body normally produces. It plays essential roles in energy production and protects against cellular damage.
- Research suggests that levels decline as we age and supplementing with it has been shown to improve certain aspects of health in older individuals.
- A study in 443 older adults demonstrated that supplementing with CoQ10 and selenium over 4 years improved their overall quality of life, reduced hospital visits and slowed the deterioration of physical and mental performance.
- CoQ10 supplements help reduce oxidative stress, a condition characterized by an accumulation of free radicals and other reactive molecules that accelerates the aging process and onset of age-related disease.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)
- They are precursors to nicotinamide dinucleotide (NAD+), which is a compound found in every cell in our body involved in many critical processes, including metabolism, DNA repair and gene expression.
- NAD+ levels decline with age and this decline is thought to be associated with accelerated physical decline and the onset of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- A study in aging mice demonstrated that supplementing orally with NMN prevented age-associated genetic changes and improved energy metabolism, physical activity and insulin sensitivity.
- Another study in 2019 showed that supplementing with 1 gr of NR daily for 21 days increased NAD+ levels in skeletal muscle and reduced levels of inflammatory proteins in the body.
- Is a yellow carotenoid pigment in saffron, a popular and pricey spice that’s commonly used in Indian and Spanish cuisine.
- Some studies have shown that it has many health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties, anticancer, anti-anxiety and antidiabetic effects.
- Rodent studies have demonstrated that crocin helps prevent age-related nerve damage by inhibiting the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are compounds that contribute to the aging process.
- It has been shown to help prevent aging in human skin by reducing inflammation and protecting against UV-light cellular damage.
- Given that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, a more cost-effective way to boost your crocin intake is by taking concentrated saffron supplements.
- The mineral selenium helps protect the body from cancer, including skin cancer caused by sun exposure and free radicals. It also preserves tissue elasticity and slows down the aging and hardening of tissues associated with oxidation.
- Dietary sources of the mineral include whole grains, cereals, seafood, garlic and eggs.
- Recent animal studies have found that when selenium is taken orally or through the skin in the form of L-selenomethionine, it provides protection against both everyday and excessive UV damage. Another study also showed delayed development of skin cancer in animals.
- Experts consider vitamin E to be the most important antioxidant because it protects cell membranes and prevents damages to enzymes associated with them.
- Natural sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, grains, oats, nuts, and dairy products.
- Studies suggest vitamin E helps inactivate free radicals, making them less likely to cause damage. Several other studies have shown applying vitamin E to the skin can reduce damage caused by sun exposure and limit the production of cancer-causing cells.
- Supplementation with vitamin E in 400 milligrams a day has been noted to reduce photodamage, wrinkles and improve skin texture.
- Vitamin C is the most common antioxidant found in the skin. It’s also found in vegetables and citrus fruits. Like vitamin E, vitamin C is considered important in repairing free radicals and preventing them from becoming cancerous or accelerating the aging process.
- Since vitamin C is most prevalent in the skin, the skin is the organ that suffers most from environmental stressors. Smoking, sun exposure and pollution rob the nutrient from our bodies.
As we can see, different supplements may help slow the aging process and promote a long, healthy life. While some studies suggest that taking certain supplements may help slow aging, the best way to promote longevity and overall health is to engage in healthy practices like consuming a nutritious diet, doing regular exercise and reducing stress.
At our clinic you can find the best quality supplements that include multiple vitamins and minerals with the best formulation possible to help you achieve the best results and prevent the effects of aging in your body. Feel free to ask one of our team members about our products.