Aging is a process that nobody can stop, but a lot of us would like to slow down. Now if only living longer and looking younger forever was as easy as taking a pill, except, it just might be. Supplements are touted as an additional ingredient to living a healthy life, and thanks to the fact that many of them contain anti-aging properties, they could also add some time to your life and skin.
Remember that supplements are called supplements for a reason, and they can never replace a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. With that said, here are our favorite supplements that can help improve your health, promote longevity, and give your skin that youthful glow.
Top 8 Anti-Aging Supplements
Collagen is a protein found in the body that helps to maintain the structure and health of the skin. Like many things, as we age, the levels of collagen in the skin begin to drop, accelerating the signs of aging and leaving us with dry and dull skin, accentuated with wrinkles and fine lines.
Hence, you need a collagen supplement to help slow down the signs of aging and maintain the strength of your skin. In fact, a study published in the journal Nutrients found that a supplement that contained 2.5 grams of collagen helped to significantly improve the skin’s texture, hydration, and elasticity. A separate study showed that after an 8-week period, 2.5 grams of collagen peptides helped to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area.
If you’re still unsure of using collagen supplements, especially since many collagen studies are funded by companies that manufacture collagen products, you can look to foods that can help to naturally boost your collagen levels.
2. Coenzyme Q10
Referred to as CoQ10, your body naturally produces this antioxidant as it helps to protect the body’s cells. Like collagen, the level of CoQ10 in your body decreases with age, and this can not only affect your skin cells but the rest of your body. However, supplementation can help to prevent this.
For instance, a study published in the journal BioFactors found that supplementing CoQ10 helped to reduce the visible signs of aging by improving the skin’s thickness as well as the hydration levels.
In regards to its effects on longevity, a separate study published in PLOS One and focusing on 443 older adults found that supplementing with CoQ10 and selenium over a 4-year period not only helped to improve their overall quality of life but also resulted in fewer hospital visits. Additionally, it also slowed down their physical and mental decline.
3. Vitamin C
Frankly, this is a supplement that everybody should be taking. Aside from its immune-boosting properties, vitamin C can also help to keep your skin healthy by stimulating the production of collagen, maintaining skin elasticity, and protecting the skin from UV damage.
For instance, an animal study published in the journal Nutrients showed that oral vitamin C not only boosted collagen production, but it also reduced the rate of elastin loss – a protein found in the body that helps to keep the skin healthy and supple.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients out there.
For instance, a study published in the Clinical Interventions in Aging journal found that oral isotretinoin (a synthetic form of vitamin A) helped to not only improve elasticity and prevent wrinkles, but also improved both the skin thickness and the skin tone.
Curcumin is responsible for the vibrant yellow color of turmeric. With its anti-inflammatory effects, curcumin could be exactly what your aged skin needs. In fact, one study associated turmeric intake with a reduced risk of age-related mental decline in humans.
A separate study published in the Phytotherapy Research journal found that the topical application and oral ingestion of curcumin supplements helped to alleviate the appearance of aging but also of skin damage caused by UV rays.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the leading causes of premature aging is sun damage. However, a study published in the DermatoEndocrinology journal suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, and seeds, may help to prevent inflammation caused by UV damage.
7. Nicotinamide Riboside
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B, and it helped to increase the ratios of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).
Your body needs both of these compounds, particularly NAD+ to help protect your cells, maintain healthy sleep cycles, and repair damaged DNA. Unfortunately, NAD+ declines with age, and this decline has been linked to the onset of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s (1).
Crocin is a carotenoid pigment found in saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. That said, it appears that saffron’s pricey tag may be linked to crocin’s anti-aging properties.
Test-tube studies have suggested that crocin may help prevent age-related nerve damage (2). Additionally, research done on human cells has also revealed that crocin may not only reduce inflammation but may also help to protect against UV-damage (3).
Now if you can’t afford to cook with saffron, you can go ahead and purchase crocin supplements instead.
How to safely buy supplements
The FDA does not regulate supplements, so it can be easy to find yourself buying supplements laced with prescription-strength drugs. Therefore, it’s important to take precautions when looking to buy supplements. These include:
- Always do your research and make sure that your supplement of choice has research-backed benefits or not. It also helps that the studies aren’t financed by the company manufacturing the supplement.
- Research the brand. Make sure that their products do contain all the ingredients mentioned in the label and check if their supplements have been tested and verified by any third-party agency.
- Ask your doctor for their opinion before taking any supplements.
The bottom line
Now, while some studies suggest that certain supplements may help slow down the aging process, nothing can beat healthy practices like a nutritious and balanced diet, regular exercise, a strong, happy community, and effective stress management.