In theory, we should get enough vitamin D from our diet and the sun, but this isn’t the case for many of us. In the United States, 35% of adults and 61% of seniors over 65 are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D insufficiency, among other things, is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, frailty, and bone fractures in the elderly. Recent research also links vitamin D insufficiency to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer (Sizar, 2020).
Some studies have found associations between vitamin D supplementation and lower blood pressure, depressive symptoms, improved cognitive function, and stronger muscles (Nair, 2012).
However, whether vitamin D supplementation alone can lead to a longer life is still debated (Zhang, 2019).
Vitamin B12 deficiency is prevalent, ranging from 1.5 to 15% of Americans not getting enough B12 (National Institutes of Health, nd). The deficit is frequently caused by a poor diet or common gut disorders such as Crohn’s disease, which prevents the body from receiving enough nutrients. B12 supplementation appears to help cognitive performance, cardiovascular illness, and bone health. However, none of these advantages are well-established because investigations have been small or limited (Hughes, 2013).
B12 vitamin pills on a table
What is the efficacy of sublingual B12?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring chemical found in grapes (and red wine), berries, and peanuts. Resveratrol has been proven in clinical trials to have specific impacts on age-related disorders, including (Berman, 2017):
Cardiovascular disease—Resveratrol has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and other processes associated with atherosclerosis.
Inflammation—Resveratrol may lower inflammation levels in smokers (who have high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress).
Neurological disorders—Resveratrol has been shown to improve specific markers linked to Alzheimer’s disease. However, this does not imply that it prevents or treats Alzheimer’s disease. Farzaei (2018)
The caveat: Most resveratrol trials have had fewer than 100 individuals, and more extensive tests are needed (Berman, 2017). There is also some concern that resveratrol may be hazardous at very high dosages; however, resveratrol is safe and well-tolerated at conventional doses (Shaito, 2020).
Carnitine is an amino acid that is necessary for the transfer of long-chain fatty acids into cells. Carnitine has been shown to improve various significant markers of aging, notably cardiovascular disease.
Carnitine was related to better cardiovascular health in one meta-analysis of over 20 clinical investigations in humans, including reduced cholesterol levels (total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol), fasting glucose, and hemoglobin A1c (Asadi, 2020). These are all risk factors for coronary artery disease (Brown, 2020).
Carnitine, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. There is evidence that gut bacteria convert non-absorbed carnitine into a molecule known as trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease have been linked to TMAO. More research is needed to determine its full impact on heart disease (Papandreou, 2020).
When tested on mice, nicotinamide riboside (NR) showed some anti-aging potential. The few human studies on NR that have been conducted have been minor or limited in scope.
Benefits and potential adverse effects of niacinamide for acne
Its most promising effect is that it raises levels of a coenzyme known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD, sometimes known as NAD+). Because NAD is involved in DNA repair and cellular damage, NR supplementation could theoretically have anti-aging effects (Mehmel, 2020).
Researchers also believe that NR may positively impact cardiovascular illness, neurological and cognitive function, muscle injuries, and longevity (Mehmel, 2020). It’s also possible that it’ll help with exercise performance (Dolopikou, 2020).
More information regarding NR is needed, but it appears to be promising. And, even at relatively high dosages, it is incredibly safe (Mehmel, 2020).
This polyphenol generated from plants may be beneficial to the immune system. The findings are inconsistent, although, in some studies, quercetin was linked to fewer sick days due to upper respiratory tract infections and decreased rates of post-exercise sickness. More human clinical trials are needed to resolve conflicting findings and determine whether quercetin might improve immune function (Li, 2016).
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of mitochondria (the powerhouse of our cells). CoQ10 levels tend to decline as we age. CoQ10 supplementation has been linked to several potential advantages. It possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to boost mitochondrial activity (Hernández-Camacho, 2018).
More research is needed on CoQ10, as with all of the other supplements we’ve explored so far, to know for sure what impacts it may have. However, it is relatively safe (Hernández-Camacho, 2018).
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) benefits: 7 scientifically verified 6 minutes read
Choose your vitamins wisely.
There are numerous supplements with supposed anti-aging properties, but that doesn’t imply you should take them all. Other supplements that may have beneficial benefits but are a little more difficult include:
Curcumin is one of the active ingredients in turmeric. It has been demonstrated to be a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is unknown how efficiently it is absorbed by the body or whether it has any advantage for healthy people. (Hewlings, 2017)
Vitamin C—Another potent antioxidant that is mainly effective in skincare is vitamin C. It may stimulate collagen formation, resulting in increased elasticity. Topical vitamin C appears to be most effective when combined with vitamin E. The caveat: We don’t know enough about how well vitamin C is absorbed by the body, whether it’s taken orally through a soft gel or applied topically (Pullar, 2017).
Omega-3 fatty acids—These fatty acids, often known as fish oil, are present in various fish. Omega-3 fatty acids have grown in popularity as an anti-inflammatory supplement with potential effects on heart health, but there’s more to the tale. The average suggested dosage (1 g daily) does not appear to affect heart health, while greater doses may. However, more research is required (Li, 2019).
Selenium is a trace mineral (an essential mineral that we must obtain from diet) that is naturally present in various foods. Supplementing with selenium may help with some disorders relating to cardiovascular health, brain function, and musculoskeletal health. However, the research on any of these advantages is inconclusive. Being a trace mineral, Selenium is only required in tiny levels and is harmful to more than 400 micrograms per day. 2020 (Shreenath).
What factors contribute to aging?
Why do we age, and what does it all mean? And what are we attempting to achieve or avoid when we use supplements marketed as anti-aging?
What is premature aging, and how can it be avoided?
Several complex processes characterize aging. Here are a few examples (López-Otn, 2013):
The DNA of the body is harmed.
Proteins lose their stability (a process called proteostasis).
Because free radicals have damaged the mitochondria in the cells, they no longer function properly.
The body’s stem cells become depleted.
Over time, these processes can cause indications of aging in all of the body’s systems, notably (Flint, 2020):
The gastrointestinal tract (Gut)
Renal Physiology (Kidneys)
The cardiovascular system (Heart and blood vessels)
Respiratory system (Lungs)
When we talk about anti-aging supplements, we don’t imply that they genuinely stop aging (science hasn’t gotten that far yet, regrettably!). Instead, we suggest that a supplement can slow down a specific aging process in one or more distinct physiological systems.
The primary line is that just because a supplement is popular doesn’t imply you should take it. If you have any concerns about a new supplement or multivitamin, talk to your doctor.