Wisdom, perspective, and grace are all gifts that come with age. However, many of us would prefer not to look or feel like we’re getting older. Incorporating certain nutritional supplements into your daily regimen may help support smoother, glowing skin, more comfort for movement, and sustained energy, even as we get older. Below, we describe some of the best supplements for aging, backed by scientific research.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are essential fats found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts. Omega-3s are structural components of the brain and essential to neuronal membrane synthesis . Interestingly, the natural decline in cognition that comes with normal aging, parallels decreased synaptic density, neuronal loss, and the reduction of omega-3 concentration in the brain . Supplementary omega-3s may help to combat this concentration loss in the brain, which may in turn support the longevity of cognition as we age.
These healthy fats possess properties to support healthy inflammation, help maintain the integrity of the skin barrier, and the maintenance of natural moisture . They may also protect the skin from the sun. Supplementation with fish oil appears to be correlated with less sensitivity to UVA from the sun . Researchers suggest the mechanism is the formation of a free radical buffer, which then protects essential cell structures from oxidative damage .
When it comes to joint comfort and mobility, omega-3s can be beneficial there, too. In part, due to supporting healthy inflammatory balance, omega-3s are the most studied supplement surrounding joint health . They can support overall joint comfort, grip strength, physical function, and ease of movement, aiding in maintaining an active lifestyle .
2. Vitamins C and E
Vitamin C and E are powerful antioxidants that have individual and synergistic roles in the body. While vitamin C is water soluble, vitamin E is fat soluble, so they tend to work in different, but complementary areas of the skin. Both vitamins are essential, meaning they cannot be made in the body and must come from the diet.
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis and fights against oxidative stress in the skin. It aids in brightening the complexion, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting a more even skin tone . Due to its fat solubility, Vitamin E can work in much deeper layers of the skin and act on and in cell membranes. It helps the skin stave off and bounce back from free radical damage caused by UV radiation and environmental stressors. Vitamin E supplementation may enhance skin hydration, reduce the signs of photoaging, and improve overall skin health .
C and E work synergistically in quenching free radicals. Vitamin C regenerates the oxidized form of vitamin E to its reduced form. Essentially, vitamin C recycles vitamin E so it can work again and again while continuing its own antioxidant action.
3. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a naturally occurring antioxidant that plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. It helps neutralize harmful free radicals and may assist in reducing the signs of aging. As we age, our CoQ10 levels decline significantly, making supplementation an attractive option. CoQ10 supplementation may support metabolic and cardiovascular health, especially as we age .
Topical and oral CoQ10 supplementation can support supple skin texture, reduce fine lines, and provide antioxidant protection in the face of oxidative stress . CoQ10 helps maintain the integrity of cell membranes and supports lipid metabolism,
contributing to skin barrier function . In turn, a healthier skin barrier allows for less transepidermal water loss and more moisture retention, resulting in younger-looking skin with elasticity and resilience .
A recent study published in the journal Science reported serious promise for the amino acid taurine as a holistic anti-aging supplement. Taurine, like CoQ10, naturally declines with age and supplementing may mitigate that loss, thereby extending the efficiency of the biological processes in which it plays a role .
Unlike most other amino acids that are used as building blocks for protein construction, taurine functions more like a neurotransmitter. It is structurally analogous to GABA, the body’s calming neurotransmitter. It binds GABA receptors, triggering the same relaxation responses from the parasympathetic nervous system.
In the new Science study, which was conducted on animals, physical strength, memory, and metabolism were all supported by taurine supplementation . It also appears to support normal inflammatory response, the integrity of DNA, and overall longevity .
Can I Rely on Supplements?
While nutritional supplements can play a supporting role in healthy aging processes, it’s essential to remember that they should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. Incorporating a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, along with these supplements, can provide a comprehensive approach to overall vitality.
Before starting any supplementation regimen, consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure it aligns with your individual needs and existing health conditions. Nourishing your body from the inside out will assist in journeying towards an active and vibrant future.