Getting older is a fact of life. And while genetics affect how you age, there’s a lot you can do to stay looking and feeling your best. A wholesome lifestyle and proper nutrition are essential, but supplements that promote healthy aging could give you an extra edge.
According to the latest anti-aging research, these four supplements are worth considering.
The most abundant protein in the body, collagen is a critical component of our bones, joints, hair, skin and nails. As we age, collagen production slows down, with up to a 25 percent reduction by the age of 40, leading to symptoms such as sagging skin, wrinkles, aching joints and bone-density loss.
Research has shown that supplementing with collagen can protect bones and joints, as well as combat the signs of aging skin. Though more than 20 types of collagen have been identified, three of them (types I, II and III) account for about 90 percent of the body’s collagen supply.
Supplements containing types I and III collagens are used to improve skin elasticity, minimize fine lines, strengthen nails and support bone health, while a type II collagen supplement supports cartilage and healthy joints.
A study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that subjects who took a supplement containing 50 milliliters of hydrolyzed type I collagen daily for 60 days had a noticeable reduction in skin dryness and wrinkles. After 12 weeks, the subjects were noted to have significantly greater collagen density and firmer skin.
A 2016 study investigating type II collagen found that subjects with osteoarthritis knee pain who took a daily type II collagen supplement of 40 milligrams for 180 days had less pain and stiffness than subjects who were randomized to the placebo group.
There’s no recommended daily dose for collagen supplements. For the best results, take as directed on the product packaging.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for our bodies to function properly. In addition to supporting a healthy heart, they protect joints and muscles, are important for cognition and eye health, and promote normal cell and organ function.
The three main omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is primarily found in plants, such as flaxseed and soybeans, while EPA and DHA are found primarily in seafood (and sea plants). Our bodies don’t make enough of these fatty acids on their own, so we must get them from our diets.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fatty fish per week or taking an omega-3 supplement when that isn’t possible.
To maintain good health and avoid a fatty-acid deficiency, experts recommend a dose between 500–1,000 milligrams of EPA plus DHA daily.
Used in Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat conditions such as pain, inflammation and skin wounds, turmeric (the source of curcumin) has been known for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
Results from 2012 research at The Ohio State University, published in Nutrition Journal, found that healthy middle-aged people who supplemented with a low dose of curcumin could experience health-boosting benefits, including lower plasma triglyceride levels (a high level has been linked to cardiovascular disease risk).
A study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, published in Phytotherapy Research found that subjects who were randomized to a curcumin group and took 500 milligrams twice a day reported less swelling and pain than subjects who took a prescription drug to treat their condition.
There is currently no recommended daily dose of curcumin, but the U. S. Food and Drug Administration has classified it “generally recognized as safe.” Talk to your doctor about a dose that’s right for you, and don’t exceed the amount recommended on the product label.
Our bodies need the essential mineral magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions. According to experts, the majority of Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency, which can lead to stress, anxiety and sleeplessness, to name a few symptoms.
Stress takes a huge toll on the body and is thought to accelerate aging. One study investigating work-related exhaustion, an indicator of chronic stress, found that prolonged stress shortened telomere length, a sign of accelerated cellular aging.
Magnesium, known as the “anti-stress” mineral, has been found to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as promote relaxation and restful sleep. You can find magnesium in pill and powder form, so buy what you think you’ll be most likely to continue using.
The National Institutes of Health recommends 320 milligrams per day for women and 420 milligrams daily for men.
- MegaRed Advanced 4 in 1 (supports heart, joints, brain and eyes) contains 900 milligrams of fish oil and krill oil, giving you two times more omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil alone.
- Nature’s Way Curica Turmeric Drops are formulated with Theracurmin, a more bioavailable form of curcumin for enhanced absorption.
- NeoCell Collagen 2 Joint Complex capsules with hyaluronic acid support healthy joint function.
- NeoCell Super Collagen Powder with types I and III collagen promotes healthy skin.
- Solgar No.7 with type II collagen, vitamin C, a boswellia extract and spices—including turmeric root, ginger root, white willow bark and a blend of peppers—targets joint structure and function.
- Natural Vitality Natural Calm magnesium-supplement powder restores healthy magnesium levels with daily use.