15 Anti-Aging Supplements Worth Buying
Health experts share the anti-aging supplements that may be worth buying according to health experts, from glucosamine to zinc.
Anti-aging supplements worth buying
There’s an abundance of over-the-counter anti-aging products that promise to delay the effects of aging. The skin can visibly show aging’s effect with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. But, as you get older, there are other parts of the body that are also affected, including the joints and the brain.
So, how can you try and combat aging’s toll on the body? Although there are no magic pills, there are some anti-aging supplements that can help support a healthy immune system.
Our health experts weigh in on the supplements they recommend to optimize your health. Remember, you should always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage. When taken orally, it may reduce arthritis pain, lessen swelling, ease stiffness, and lubricate joints. "I personally take 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine daily for a bad knee," says Richard Honaker, MD, a family-practice physician in Charlottesville, Virginia. Visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health for more information for glucosamine's safety and side effects. Also, these are the anti-aging foods experts eat every day.
"We [in the medical community] are beginning to realize the anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D," says Amanda Frick, a licensed naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Santa Monica, California. It builds bone, boosts immunity, guards against chronic ailments, and is responsible for increasing absorption of calcium and magnesium. If you're still not sold on vitamin D as one of the anti-aging supplements to add to your regimen, Frick says it can also assist with weight loss when combined with lifestyle intervention.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It plays an integral role in the structure and suppleness of connective tissues, including skin. But as we get older, production diminishes, which is why it's one of the more appealing anti-aging supplements from a beauty perspective. "In addition to promoting a youthful complexion, studies show that hydrolyzed collagen supplements may support both joint and bone health," explains Debra Jaliman, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City. (For younger-looking skin, be sure to try this collagen smoothie recipe.)
Want a youthful complexion? Start taking vitamin C. This naturally occurring antioxidant has been proven to decrease the effect of UV-induced photodamage. It's also a critical factor for the production of collagen. Vitamin C is one of the all-star anti-aging supplements because it works to prevent oxidative stress at the cellular level. Plus, these foods are high in vitamin C.
Feel drained? Coenzyme Q10 is vital for the production of mitochondrial energy and heart health. With advancing age, the body produces less CoQ10, so it's one of the anti-aging supplements experts are likely to recommend, especially for patients over 40 who are struggling with fatigue or cardiovascular issues. (Check out these signs your body is aging faster than you are.)
"My personal favourite anti-aging supplement is still fairly unknown in the U.S., despite a long history in TCM [traditional Chinese medicine...," says Elizabeth Trattner, a Florida State licensed acupuncturist and nationally board-certified in acupuncture. Sea buckthorn is loaded with antioxidants and omega-7 fatty acids, so it's excellent for cellular rejuvenation. "Folks in the Far East, India, and Russia have used it for thousands of years to increase the body's resistance to stress and fatigue," says Trattner.
Vitamin B12 helps to make DNA and red blood cells. "This important nutrient is key for living a vibrant and energetic life," Los Angeles–based health and wellness expert, Sophie Jaffe, reveals. Your body doesn't produce vitamin B12, so you have to get it from animal-based foods or supplements. She recommends sublingual vitamin B12, which dissolves under your tongue and is absorbed into the bloodstream. (Learn the science-backed signs you could live to be 100.)
Perhaps you take zinc when you have a sore throat, but this essential trace element is necessary for overall well-being. According to New York City-based plastic surgeon Michelle Yagoda, MD, it's imperative for proper immune function, digestion, and sense of taste. And it's even more important as you get older, which is why it's included on our list of anti-aging supplements. Nutritional deficiency can leave you open to age-related chronic illnesses, including atherosclerosis, immunosenescence (weakening of the immune system), and cancer.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is a multitasking powerhouse that supports immune, cardiovascular, joint, vision, and metabolic function. A growing body of evidence indicates that it has positive effects on mood and memory. And, of course, we'd be remiss not to mention its beauty-boosting benefits for skin, hair, and nails. Fish oil also helps with preserving the length of telomeres, the protective caps at the end of chromosomes that keep DNA stable and shorten with age. "As with vitamin B12, you can't make your own omega-3 fatty acids, so supplements are a must," says Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor in New York City.
(Psst: These supplements can help women sleep better, stress less, and feel good.)
Known as the "mushroom of immortality," red reishi is used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote wellness and longevity. According to Sarah Brewer, registered doctor, registered nutritionist, and registered nutritional therapist in the U.K., adding red reishi to your daily regimen of anti-aging supplements could also lower your risk of hypertension.
N-acetylcysteine, commonly referred to as NAC, is a precursor to glutathione. This powerful antioxidant is widely known to protect cell membranes, minimize the effects of stress, and reverse DNA damage. NAC is used in hospitals to treat acetaminophen overdoses. When people take it as a supplement, evidence suggests that it provides liver support and has a positive effect on metabolism.
Magnesium is essential for regulating insulin levels and blood pressure. It also supports restful sleep. "Magnesium citrate powder is highly absorbable and can help restore depleted levels," notes Carolyn Dean, MD and naturopathic doctor. Bonus: It can be mixed with hot or cold water and sipped before bed. But there are some things you should know before taking a magnesium supplement.
Curcumin, a medicinal compound found in turmeric, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that ease the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. "It's also shown to have DHT-blocking capabilities and helps with hair loss," explains Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in the skin of berries and grapes (yes, red wine, too). It has extended the life span of many organisms, from yeast to fruit flies, which potentially makes it one of the more powerful anti-aging supplements. "Research is ongoing to determine if it has similar effects on humans," says Claire Chang, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City. In studies involving people at risk of heart disease, researchers found resveratrol supplements could help lower cholesterol.
Astragalus, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, is an adaptogen: Natural healers believe it protects the body against stress. This medicinal herb is credited with elongating telomeres and rejuvenating cells. It also has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system. Some researchers believe that it may help prevent colds, and scientists have explored its potential for broad application in aging.
Medically reviewed by Jessica Wu, MD.
Next, find out which anti-aging foods can add years to your life.