Who doesn’t want to live longer and healthier?
Supplements for healthy aging? Yes! While we all know the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and there’s no substitution for these essentials, scientists are also examining which natural health products lend themselves to longevity.
As always, speak with your health-care practitioner before trying a new supplement, as not every product is right for every person.
Vitamin D and lifespan
More studies on vitamin D seem to appear every day. When it comes to longevity, research shows that more than half of all seniors have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, and this may be a risk factor for general mortality.
Consider speaking to your health-care practitioner to have your levels tested. Thankfully, supplements are widely available at health food stores in many forms, from liquid to pills.
Nutrients to ward off dementia
More than 5 million Americans are living with dementia. A 2019 study examined certain nutraceutical strategies for prevention of Alzheimer’s (the most common type of dementia. This preliminary research suggested that supplementation with cysteine, taurine, folate, vitamin B12, and betaine may have potential for boosting brain synthesis of a modulator called hydrogen sulfide, thereby aiding Alzheimer’s prevention.
Another 2019 study investigated the antioxidant compound resveratrol for Alzheimer’s prevention. The researchers found that resveratrol supplementation in rodents induced cognitive enhancement and may provide some protection against neurodegeneration.
Collagen for skin aging
Research is showing that wrinkles and decreased skin elasticity associated with aging may be ameliorated in part by collagen supplements. According to a 2019 review of 11 studies with 805 patients, “preliminary results are promising for the short- and long-term use of oral collagen supplements for wound healing and skin aging.” Although more research needs to be done, the scientists noted an increase in skin elasticity, hydration, and collagen density with supplementation.
Supplements and telomere length
Telomeres are stretches of DNA at the ends of our chromosomes. Research into telomeres is still new and quickly evolving, but researchers have uncovered a link between telomere length and lifespan—that is, telomere shortening has been associated with aging and a higher risk of disease and death.
Now, scientists are investigating factors that may help preserve our telomere length, thereby potentially increasing longevity. A 2019 study examined whether certain supplements could help sustain telomere length. The natural health products in question were combination supplements that included antioxidant vitamins, minerals, probiotics, essential fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10. According to the researchers, the results suggest that the daily administration of the supplements may be linked to sustaining telomere length.