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12 of the Best Anti-Aging Supplements to Keep on Your Radar

September 10, 2020 6 min read

For centuries, humans have scoured the earth for remedies to slow the aging process and promote longevity. Though a reliable fountain of youth has yet to be discovered, we’ve rounded up twelve of the most powerful anti-aging supplements to keep your body, mind and skin performing their best.

What’s all the fuss about anti-aging?

It’s no secret that aging can bring about an abundance of undesirable ailments. Some of these ailments include lower energy levels, a decline in cognitive function, weakened immune protection, joint pain, frail bones, reduced cardiovascular performance, vision impairment and muscle loss(1)

The most visible signs of aging, however, appear on the skin(2). Below are some common indicators of the aging process.

Infographic detailing the visible signs of aging

The role of antioxidants in anti-aging

Research has demonstrated that eating a diet rich in antioxidants can have age-defying benefits like clearer skin, stronger joints and bones, enhanced brain function, shinier hair and increased energy levels(3).

In addition to consuming foods rich in antioxidants, you can reap their benefits by including anti-aging supplements in your diet. Below, we’ve narrowed down 12 of the top ingredients to choose from in your search.

1. Curcumin

Curcuminis the active compound in turmeric that gives the root its vibrant yellow color. It has powerful antioxidant properties that help it combat temporary inflammation following exercise or activity.*

It may also be beneficial for supporting long term brain health and function.*It’s important to note the actual curcumin content of turmeric is only three percent by weight(4). By simply using turmeric alone, you’re not tapping into the full potential of its antioxidant properties. Instead, search for aturmeric supplement formulated with curcumin in mind.

2. EGCG

Epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) is a type of plant compound called a catechin that is shown to improve mitochondrial function. Research suggests that EGCG can play a role in protecting your cells from damage by free radicals and oxidative stress(6).

Green tea is shown to be an excellent source of EGCG. Consumption of green tea is associated with reduced risk of weight challenges, age-related skin issues and wrinkles caused by UV exposure(7).

You can incorporate EGCG into your diet by taking supplements or drinking green tea. The recommended dosage is 704 mg/day when consumed by drinking and 338 mg/day as a concentrated supplement dose. Because it is difficult for the body to absorb EGCG, it is critical to ensure that it is sourced from a good vendor. 

3. Collagen 

70 percent of the dermis—the layer that gives our skin its elasticity and flexibility—is made up of the connective tissue collagen(8)

The body’s ability to produce collagen starts dropping steadily from the age of 21. By the age of 60, collagen levels have decreased by nearly half. Exposure to UV rays accelerates this depletion, contributing to wrinkles, dryness, enlarged pores and saggy skin. 

One way to boost collagen is through oral supplementation. The benefits of collagen supplementation include support for a variety of factors:

  • Increased skin elasticity and hydration*
  • Combatting UV-induced skin wear and photoaging*
  • Reduction in the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite*
  • Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines*
  • Strengthening of joints*
  • Strengthening of hair*
  • Promotion of weight loss*

When choosing acollagen supplement, consider where it’s sourced from and whether it’s optimized for absorption. These supplements can be found in capsule,powder or liquid forms to suit your preferences.

4. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a molecule produced in the body and stored in the mitochondria of your cells(9). In addition to supporting the mitochondria in energy production, it protects the cells from outside invaders(10).* 

CoQ10 supports other systems in the body as well. It’s involved in making Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which helps to generate and transfer energy within cells(11). It also acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from oxidative damage.* 

Though CoQ10 is present in every cell in the body, it is primarily found in organs like the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys, which carry higher energy demands(12). Its production decreases with age, so it is beneficial to supplement in your diet. 

5. Nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide

A nucleotide is a building block of nucleic acids like DNA and RNA. It is a molecule composed of a nitrogen base, a sugar and a phosphoric acid. Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a nucleotide derived from nicotinamide and ribose.

NMN is a precursor to NAD+, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. This means that it becomes NAD+ through a series of chemical transformations to another molecule called nicotinamide riboside (NR)(13)

NAD+ is essential for human health and longevity (14). It is responsible for gene expression, DNA repair and metabolism of energy. However, levels of NAD+ decrease with age which may contribute to physical and normal age-related mental decline.*

A randomized, double-blind study in 12 human subjects showed that NR raises NAD+ by as much as 2.7 times in human blood with a single oral dose of 1000 mg(15).

A clinical study conducted at the University of Washington with 140 subjects also showed that orally administering NR produced a two-fold increase in NAD+ by day nine(16).

Taking oral supplements of NMR and NR, therefore, plays a role in boosting NAD+ levels in the body and combating age-induced ailments.*

Saffron in a cup

6. Crocin

Crocin is a carotenoid pigment responsible for the vibrant color of saffron. The active compounds of crocin have been shown to preserve and protect the health of brain cells with their antioxidant properties(17)*

Studies on crocin reveal its role in supporting a healthy inflammatory response. The antioxidant also helps to combat aging in skin cells by protecting against UV-induced cell wear(18,19).*

Given the high cost of saffron, the easiest way to reap its benefits is through taking concentrated crocin supplements. 

7. L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found most commonly in black and green tea leaves and Bay Bolete mushrooms.L-theanine is known for its stress-relieving properties, promoting calmness and relief from occasional anxiety.*

It closely resembles the brain-signaling chemicalglutamatewhich is an excitatory neurotransmitter. L-theanine does just the opposite of glutamate and inhibits its effects by binding to the same brain cell receptors. The result is the inhibition of overactivity in the brain, promoting stress relief and supporting improved sleep quality. In this way, L-theanine can support healthy brain function as you age (20).*

8. Rhodiola

Rhodiola is an adaptogen, which are natural substances that help to increase the body’s resistance to stress. Including Rhodiola supplements in your diet can help support healthy immune function, or age-related immune decline(21).*

Rhodiola helps enhance physical and cognitive function, providing relief from occasional fatigue. It exhibits balancing effects on stress and pituitary hormones, as well as on mood-related neurotransmitters in the brain(22).*

A study published in 2018 suggested that Rhodiola supports endothelial health and helps maintain blood pressure levels already within normal, healthy range.*(23).

When choosing Rhodiola supplements, look for Rhodiola rosea extract with three percent rosavins and one percent salidroside. 

9. Garlic

When it comes to anti-aging supplements, garlic is an all-star ingredient.

Garlic is rich in an antioxidant called allicin, which gives it its strong smell and flavor. Allicin produces sulfenic acid, which counteracts harmful free radicals. As a result, garlic supplements can help you ward off premature aging(24).* 

Garlic also contains three active compounds: caffeic acid (CA), S-allyl cysteine (SAC) and uracil. Studies have shown that these three compounds help combat UV-light induced wrinkle formation and support healthy skin aging by aiding in the production of collagen and the reduction ofoxidative stress (25).*

Garlic

10. Astragalus

The anti-aging properties of astragalus have been recognized for centuries in Chinese traditional medicine.

More recently, a team of researchers from UCLA investigated the anti-aging properties of astragalus root while studying immune cells. The compound they derived worked by boosting the production of telomerase, an enzyme that plays a key role in aging(27)

Astragalus extracts have also been shown to help combat aging by reducing oxidative stress, improving stamina through immunity-support and supporting healthy brain function.*(28).

11. Fisetin

Fisetin is a naturally occurring flavonol from the flavonoid family of polyphenols. It is one of the most potent anti-aging supplements as it helps to destroy aging cells. It is found in strawberries, cucumbers, onions, apples and persimmons among other plants(29)

A dosage of 50mg to 150mg of Fisetin through supplements per day can be beneficial for promoting health. 

12. Resveratrol

Resveratrol, an antioxidant polyphenol found in red wine, berries, grapes and peanuts has been a subject of interest in recent years due to its array of anti-aging properties(30).* 

A primary benefit of resveratrol includes the activation of sirtuins, which improve mitochondrial function and support longevity.* Other benefits include the slowing of skin aging,support of blood sugar levels already in a normal, healthy range and even mood improvement.*

In summary

No one can reverse aging altogether, but some anti-aging supplements hold promise to help ease the process. Antioxidants likecurcumin, crocin, and resveratrol protect against oxidative stress while amino acids and adaptogens like Rhodiola and L-Theanine help to promote mental well-being.* 

On the other hand, supplementing withcollagen, garlic or EGCG can help to improve the appearance of aging skin impacted by UV exposure, texture or loss of elasticity.Wherever you’re at in your anti-aging journey, keep these ingredients in your back pocket to help ease the process.*

Ramya Satheesh - Contributing writer, Physician’s Choice