Best Anti Aging Supplements for Life Longevity

women focused on longevity doing yoga

Anti aging and longevity is a passion of mine. And I’m not talking about skin products – I want to live forever.

Most people roll their eyes when I talk on the subject, but I view human longevity and the overcoming of aging as an eventual inevitability. Maybe not in my lifetime, or even in my children’s children’s lifetime, but eventually.

Here’s the thing. We, as humans, are simply a collection of organized matter. Matter is forever. It does not end. There is no reason why we HAVE to die. Its a flaw in our DNA that can be overcome.

In fact, there are a number of animals or organisms that do not age, or age at an extremely slow pace. Some include sea turtles, aspen trees, lobsters, and hydras.

NOTE – I realize people have varying view points on life after death, religion, and the concept of a soul, but let’s set that aside for a different conversation.

Now, I’m not naive enough to think I personally will live forever. Science still has a long ways to go before we conquer aging.

However, there are new studies that have been or that are being conducted that show promise in at least slowing the aging process, and the bulk of this article will be analyzing the promising data that we have available.

Why We Age

Our natural biological process includes damage to cellular and molecular structures over time. This damage contributes to what we consider age related diseases (heart disease, cancer, dementia, death, etc). Finding ways to slow, or better yet, repair this damage theoretically can positively impact aging, and is the baseline for most supplement/drug studies.


Best Supplements for Longevity

Niagen

Niagen, (branded name for Nicotinamide Riboside) is closely related to vitamin b3, however, it’s effects on cell energy and vitality are unique. Nicotinamide Riboside works as a precursor to the enzyme NAD+, an enzyme that decreases as we age and is crucial to the health and repair process of mitochondria (an organelle responsible for cellular energy or ATP).

Without proper cellular energy, our cells are subject outside stressors that can harm their cellular structures.

Although relatively new, preliminary studies on mice appear promising. Longevity studies on humans are quit difficult as the study duration would need to last a lifetime, however the short lifespan of mice and their similarities to humans are great for showing potential mechanism of action.

One study showed that mice who supplemented with nicotinamide riboside lived longer and had healthy muscle and organ tissue. [1]

Studies showing Niagen successfully promoting NAD+ have been conducted in humans. The results showed increased NAD+ levels comparable to youthful levels and protection against DNA damage from stressors. [2]

One of the biggest companies promoting Niagen is a longevity company called Elysium. Elysium has conduced their own clinical study of their product Basis. Basis contains 2 ingredients, nicotinamide riboside and a Pterostilbene (a polyphenal). Only nicotinamide riboside has been shown to affect NAD+ levels, so the following results can reasonably be attributed to nicotinamide riboside alone.

Elysium is a great product, but in my opinion, overpriced. If money is no object, click the link above. Otherwise, you would be better off buying Niagen from amazon here.

study synopsis of niagen

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Curcumin, a component of the spice Turmeric, is an amazing compound primarily used for anti-inflammatory purposes. It is one of my favorites on this list, and one I would consider a daily must have.

Fighting inflammation goes a long ways towards overall life longevity and quality of life. While Niagen works to prevent cellular deterioration and DNA damage, curcumin works to improve the overall health of your tissues and organs. So while Niagen may work to extend overall years lived, curcumin may help you avoid diseases and the pains of age, effectively helping you reach those later years in a more enjoyable way.

Curcumin has been shown improve heart health, reduce the chances of cancer [3], and fight fatigue [4].

Important – Curcumin supplements have extremely low absorption rates by themselves. Look for products that contain Bioperine® or black pepper extract. Studies show the bioavilibility sky rockets when the two ingredients are paired. See image below.

graph showing the difference between curcumin solo and curcumin with bioperine

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a molecule found in grapes and red wine, that is a popular anti-aging supplement. This supplement has more evidence to support lowering age related symptoms and risk of disease. It primarily works to combat toxins that have detrimental effects on the body (such as inflammation). There is evidence showing resveratrol to improve cardiovascular health and improving insulin sensitivity [5], support healthy cell replication, and improve biomarkers of the heart and mind [6].

Interesting research conducted by Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School noted resveratrol’s ability to effect the enzymes sirtuins. Sirtuins control biological pathways that are involved in the aging process. These enzymes also impact the activity of mitochondria, which may increase their energy and keep them alive longer. The net result, healthier more active and durable cells, potentially contributing to life extension. [7]

Resveratrol has been found to be synergistic with curcumin in regards to anti-inflammatory and reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Coenzyme Q10

chart showing coq10 levels as we ageCommonly referred to as simply CoQ10 or Ubiquinol (a more bioavailable form that enables lower dosages but is substantially more expensive), CoQ10 is a trending supplement ingredient often used for heart and vascularity improvements. However, CoQ10 has more recently been studied for its ability to promote anti-aging metrics within the body.

CoQ10 is a naturally produced molecule within the body and works to rejuvenate and refuel mitochondria within our cells. Mitochondria damage is commonly believed to be one of the primary causes of aging. Studies showing low CoQ10 levels within the subjects body directly impact the health and longevity of the subject, so it is commonly believe that supplementing CoQ10 can reverse those negative side effects caused by deficiency. A study published in Experimental Gerontology showed that reducing CoQ10 levels reduced the average lifespan and senesence scores of test subjects by an equivalent 9 human years [9][10].

This naturally leads to the question, can supplementing CoQ10 positively impact CoQ10 levels and mitochondria health when supplemented. A study found here has shown that CoQ10 effectively prolonged lifespan by reducing oxidative stress.

Coq10 has also been shown to have positive impact as a general antioxidant  [8], helping to reduce damage to mitochondria, which in turn promotes healthy cell function.

Unrelated to longevity, CoQ10 has an impressive track record of effect use in treating symptoms of fibromyalgia, post heart attack symptoms, and depression.

Personal experience – Longevity is not something you can really experience working, especially in the short run. However, with CoQ10 supplementation, I have felt a noticeable increase in energy and overall vitality. The list of benefits associated with CoQ10 supplements is long, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) is a fatty acid that plays an important role in energy metabolism. Everyday, oxidative damage occurs as our body’s cells undergo chemical processes to produce energy. This collective damage overtime results in the decline and slow down of our cells replication process and accuracy of that replication process. This slow down is manifested in what we call, the aging process, and can also attribute to age related diseases such as cancer,  cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, dementia, etc.

ALA is a short burst of a powerful anti-oxidant that also is able to cross the blood brain barrier, effectively making ALA a powerful system wide antioxidant. Studies have shown that supplementing ALA can reduce or repair oxidative damage and restore youthful mitochondria levels [11].

Other studies show ALA to be a powerful supplement for reducing markers of inflammation [12], which as already discussed with curcumin, provides substantial benefits to living a long healthy life.


Best Practices for Life Longevity

The following strategies are brief overviews to give you an idea of what has been studied and shown to be effective in improving bio markers of aging.

Caloric Restriction

The most longstanding and science backed strategy for longevity is calorie restriction. This has set the bench mark for the study of aging, and many drugs or the best supplements attempt to activate the same benefits and bodily mechanisms that occur during calorie restriction.

A 6 month trial with a 12.5-35% calorie reduction showed positive impacts on longevity markers. These markers, reduced core average body temperature and fasting insulin levels, showed statistically significant (p<.05 and p<.01 respectively) improvements. Read the full study here.

Intermittent Fasting

Calorie restriction can be difficult. It may make your life last longer, but it might not be a life most would consider enjoyable… Which is probably why almost no one follows this diet.

However, there is good news. Studies have shown that we can “mimic” the effects of calorie restriction by what the industry calls “intermittent fasting”. In short, intermittent fasting is short bursts of little to no food. The impact of these fasts can be dramatically beneficial to the digestive system, as well as impacting bio markers of aging such as inflammation, insulin levels, body temperature, mitochondrial activity, etc.

The exact format of these fasting regimens very substantially, ranging from 16 hours every day, to 5 days of fasting a month.

The magazine “Scientific America” wrote a great article, highlighting a study where subjects would fast at 50% normal calories for the first day, 70% of normal calories for day 2-5. They followed this regimen once a month. The results showed noticeable improvements to inflammation, body mass, glucose levels, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels – even after subjects returned to normal eating.

Intermittent fasting and super supplements seem to be the most tolerable way of fighting aging.

Many body builders use daily intermittent fasting to help time the delivery of nutrients and calories to their muscles. They often follow a schedule of eating all meals in a less than 8 hours a day window. The idea is to feed their muscles during that 8 hours, and then enter into a state of ketosis during the off hours, to burn fat. Which leads us into our next subject…

Ketogenic Diet

picture of high fat keto foodsThe research on ketogenic diets is relatively new, but super exciting. The idea is to switch your bodies metabolism from a carbohydrate to a fat energy source. By eating high amounts of fats (usually 60-80% of total calories), your body switches into a state of ketosis. Once in ketosis, your body will more efficiently utilize fat for energy, having an abundance of benefits to body composition and health.

As it relates to longevity, participants of the ketogenic diet showed neuroprotective effects by lowering reactive oxygen species both in the brain and mitochondria [13].

Other studies on “low carb diets” have shown positive data on biomarkers of aging. While not exclusive to the ketogenic diet, this is a promising aspect to the keto diet.

One of the more exciting elements of being in a state of ketosis is many cancers survive off carbohydrates. By turning your carbohydrate metabolism off, and your fat metabolism on, a ketosis diet may be an exciting therapy for cancer patients or prevention.

Low Inflammation Diet

Age related bodily decline is accentuated by inflammation. Chronic diseases arthritis, Alzheimers, heart disease and even some cancers are all linked to inflammation. Lowering inflammation by supplements and or diet is a great way to prolong life (or at the very least prolong the good healthy feeling years of life).

There are many supplements (some mentioned above – more listed here) and foods that can help lower overall bodily inflammation. Fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for reducing inflammation.

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Comments

  1. I’m taking coq10 and niagen. Seems like those have the best studies for anti aging. Hopefully this will hold me over till something more ground breaking comes about.

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