Anti-Aging Supplements: Claims Against Reality

By on June 10, 2018

By Caitlin Evans—

The quest for the Fountain of Youth – it’s a tale as old as humanity itself. But, living and aging in the modern day, we’re not after myths and poetic tales. We rely on the amazing breakthroughs of science and technology to help us understand the process of aging. Our hopes are realistic: we want to age in a healthy manner and use all possible resources to improve our wellbeing. That is the idea behind anti-aging supplements. (Feature Image Source: unsplash.com)

However, modern-day enlightenment doesn’t mean we don’t have any more myths. In reality, some supplements are proven to work when paired with a healthy lifestyle, some are somewhere in between, and others make only bold claims but don’t do much. So, let’s have a look at what’s what. 

DHEA supplements

Source: pixabay.com

The body naturally produces the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) in the adrenal glands, gonads, and the brain. It has numerous biological functions, but because levels of DHEA naturally begin to decline after the age of 30, the changes that occur with aging have become associated with its lowered production. That’s why there are numerous DHEA supplements lining the shelves as anti-aging products that will improve sex drive, prevent age-related illnesses, help build muscle, increase energy, etc. But there’s no proof to those claims at all. Moreover, side effects include facial hair growth in women and heart palpitations. At best, these supplements do nothing. 

Intravenous vitamin infusion

Source: freepik.com

A high concentration of vitamins taken intravenously for better absorption surely can’t hurt, right? Well, there’s really no reason to do something like that unless you have a condition that decreases nutrient absorption. This is obviously an extreme measure and it might sound tempting as a quick health boost, but like all extreme measures, it comes down to this: if you don’t have a condition that makes it absolutely necessary, don’t resort to the extremes for a quick fix. Normal supplementation and a healthy diet are still the best way to get your vitamins. 

Ginkgo

Source: freepik.com

The extract of the Ginkgo biloba leaf is a very common supplement used to improve memory and concentration, and it can even reduce symptoms of anxiety if taken continuously. Because of its positive effect on cognitive function, Ginkgo is now also touted as an anti-aging supplement that can help treat various types of dementia. Most clinical trials show that it can help with symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, but the results also suggest it’s not entirely clear which types of patients will benefit from it. Further research is needed, but it is a hopeful candidate. While it may help improve mental function in healthy adults, unfortunately, there is no evidence that ginkgo extract can prevent dementia from developing. 

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide 

Source: pixabay.com

This is where things are getting exciting and scientific journals are buzzing about the possibility of regenerating healthy cells in old age. Scientists are researching the effect of the molecule nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which is a derivative of Vitamin B3, and its crucial role in preventing cellular degeneration. Research points to the lack of this molecule in our bodies after the age of 50 likely being the actual cause of the symptoms of aging. Relying on the latest findings, the newest anti-aging pills are developed as mitochondrial supplements to promote healthy aging, optimal mental cognition, enhanced energy, and healthy responses to physical and mental fatigue. These are possibly the most effective and promising anti-aging pills yet. 

The essentials

Source: freepik.com

On the more modest side, although not as exciting as NMN research which relates directly to aging, there are the common vitamins and supplements. They’re not promoted as anti-aging specifically but they’re ingredients which we always need and which are especially important after the age of 50 to promote wellbeing. This includes vitamin D for bone loss, magnesium to improve sleep, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids (which can be especially difficult to obtain through diet). Taken continuously and combined with a healthy lifestyle, they’re proven to work and are beneficial for the 50+ demographic. Of course, all other vitamins and nutrients are important as well, and if it’s difficult for you to get them through your diet, supplementation will provide the necessary balance. 

It is true – you can be healthier and stronger at the age of 50 than you were at 30. In fact, many people are, because they start taking care of themselves much better than they used to when they were young. We’re lucky to have all the knowledge and supplements available to help us age gracefully. But it’s important to be wary of all that’s out there and stay updated constantly to avoid the stuff that doesn’t hold much evidence. Hopefully, this article gives some insight. 

About lb50

One Comment

  1. Mark C.

    June 18, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Great article! My mom loves supplements, I tried to bring over her, but she thinks they help her. I think autosuggestion is also an important part of the treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-Aging Supplements: Claims Against Reality