Top 10 Anti-Aging Supplements
Just twenty years ago, vitamin-popping was still held by the mainstream medical community as a worthless fad. But studies now show we are woefully vitamin deficient.
For example, two USDA surveys of 5,188 people and 16,103 people discovered that not one got 100% of the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for vitamins, minerals and nutrients. And RDAs are far below what many researchers determine to be optimal health levels.
Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a physician who would disagree with the tremendous potential health benefits supplements can provide. That’s because we finally have tens of thousands of published studies supporting the use of supplements. We also have ways of measuring what, if any, positive effects many supplements have on you. In fact, we now know you can fix defects in your DNA with vitamins and minerals.
According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), there are many genetic differences that make people’s enzymes less efficient than normal, and that simple supplementation with vitamins can often restore some of these deficient enzymes to full working order.
Thanks to emerging technologies, we will soon be able to tell precisely what supplements and what dosages are optimal for you. For now, we need to take a more general approach.
According to Dr. Bruce Ames of the University of California at Berkeley, over fifty genetic diseases have already been identified that can be corrected by aggressive nutritional supplementation. Diet alone and recommended daily allowances (RDA) will never do it for optimal health. In fact, optimal health is not possible without supplements for most of us.
Published studies showed that supplementing with antioxidants can cut the risk of heart disease by 26–46%, as well as cutting risks from certain forms of cancer.
Supplementation can also help you avoid stroke, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and much more. The bare basics include a daily high potency multivitamin tablet and essential fatty acids. Ninety-seven randomized trials involving over 275,000 subjects showed omega-3 fatty acids, like fish oil, reduced cardiac mortality risk by 32% and overall mortality by 23%.
Also, if you or someone you know has arthritis, lymphoma, herpes, HIV, low energy, Parkinson’s or frequent infections including colds and flu, these people may have a common link—nutritional deficiency. Researchers found that in almost any diseased condition, patients are glutathione deficient.
The supplements for which we have found the most supporting benefits and the most clinical data by far, are six key antioxidants. These six substances are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Lipoic acid
Dr. Lester Packer of the University of California at Berkeley, one of the world’s most renowned experts on antioxidants, has found the first five to act as an antioxidant network in your body.
How Much Should You Take?
The daily requirements for each of these antioxidants as established by the USDA are far too low, according to the accounts of a large number of scientists and physicians. There is still a heated debate as to what the correct dosages should be, and they will vary from person to person. At present, the following guidelines are based on the general recommendations of Dr. Lester Packer.
Vitamin C, according to Dr. Packer, should be taken in doses of 250 mg, twice daily. The results from his work demonstrate that any more is not going to do any harm if you have a well-supported antioxidant network. Above this amount though, much of it is just excreted in the urine without being used.
The USDA recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is woefully low. Vitamin E is one of the frontline defense systems against free radicals. Dr. Packer and many other sources recommend a total of 500 mg of vitamin E per day, and higher dosages for people with cancer or heart disease. Dr. Packer recommends mixing natural tocopherols and tocotrienols, members of the vitamin E family.
CoQ10 is naturally found in nearly every cell, tissue and organ in your body. It is found in especially high concentrations at the source of most of your free radical production, the mitochondria, your cells’ “power plants.” It improves your cells’ ability to transport electrons in and out of the mitochondria. CoQ10 is especially attracted to high-energy organs such as your heart and brain. It directly recycles vitamin E and is one of the primary molecules in the energy production system of cells. As we age, the production of CoQ10 declines, and this may be a factor in heart disease as well as diminished cellular energy.
The antioxidant action of the reduced form of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) is now considered to be one of its most important functions in cellular systems. Ubiquinol is a potent antioxidant capable of regenerating other antioxidants and provides important protection against oxidative damage to fats, proteins and DNA. Recent studies also reveal function in gene expression involved in human cell signaling, metabolism and transport.
If you are in the older and/or are in a disease/stress category, you may want to start at 200 to 300 mg per day. Studies show the CoQ10 plasma levels plateau at about two to three weeks at this dose. A good maintenance dose after that is in the 50 to 100 mg per day range. Make sure you take ubiquinol, the reduced form or water-soluble ubiquinone. Other forms are easily oxidized and are therefore inefficient.
A low level of glutathione is one of the key indicators for premature death. Unfortunately, the body breaks down glutathione in the digestive tract, so supplementing with an unprotected version of glutathione won’t do you much good. Another way to keep your glutathione levels up is to avoid nitrates found in processed lunch meats, smoking and alcohol.
Take glutathione—but only