According to the World Health Organization, by 2020, chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes are expected to account for approximately 60% of diseases worldwide. Fortunately, many of these conditions are preventable with appropriate dietary and lifestyle choices. Prevention of chronic diseases can both improve longevity and ensure a better quality of life into later years. Maintaining your health and vitality while aging involves a combination of physical activity, a healthy diet, stress management, mental and social stimulation, and adequate sleep. A wellness plan for disease prevention or management may also involve the use of dietary supplements.
Below are my top recommended supplements for healthy aging and longevity:
High homocysteine levels, a biomarker of aging in the body, are linked to the development of coronary heart disease and stroke, reductions in grey matter in the brain, and poor cognitive function. The body requires certain nutrients, including pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folate (vitamin B9), and cobalamin (vitamin B12), to metabolize homocysteine. Research has shown that supplementation with B vitamins is effective in lowering homocysteine levels in the body. Dietary sources of B vitamins include liver, eggs, tuna, lamb, legumes, brown rice, nutritional yeast, milk, and yogurt.
*Dr. Rachelle’s Top Vitamin B Supplements:*
Liposomal Methyl B-Complex by Quicksilver Scientific
B Complex Plus by Seeking Health
Active B Complex™ by Klaire Labs
B-Complex by Vital Nutrients
B-Supreme by Designs for Health
*Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)*
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble compound found in the heart, kidneys, liver, and pancreas. Levels of CoQ10 are depleted by age-related oxidative stress and statin use, a lipid-lowering medication. Statin drugs are commonly prescribed for primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in aging adults with elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) levels. CoQ10 supports cardiovascular health by providing energy to heart cells and protecting them from free radical damage, a sign of aging. CoQ10 supplementation can lower levels of inflammatory markers and improve cholesterol parameters, such as total cholesterol and LDL. CoQ10 supplement forms include ubiquinone, the oxidized form, and ubiquinol, the reduced form. Research has shown ubiquinol to be more effective at increasing levels of CoQ10 in the blood.
*Dr. Rachelle’s Top CoQ10 Supplements:*
Ubiquinol by Ortho Molecular Products
UBQH 100mg by Integrative Therapeutics
CoQnol (Ubiquinol) 100mg by Designs for Health
Collagen is an essential structural component of the body, it is found in connective tissues, such as skin, bone, cartilage, ligaments, hair, and blood vessels. It consists primarily of three amino acids, glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Collagen is found naturally in foods such as bone broth, gelatin, eggs, and bone-in canned fish, such as salmon or sardines. Collagen supplements may be derived from different animal sources, including bovine (beef), chicken, marine, and natural eggshell membrane (NEM). Supplementing your diet with collagen can help alleviate joint pain in conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and activity-related joint pain. Collagen supplements can also help prevent skin aging, osteoporosis, and hypertension.
*Dr. Rachelle’s Top Collagen Supplements:*
Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Vanilla Coconut
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Collagenex 2 by Health Concerns
*Omega-3 fatty acids*
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids because they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from the diet. Two of the primary and most studied omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). High amounts of EPA and DHA are found in seafood, including salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, trout, and oysters. Intake of these long-chain fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease and heart failure. Research demonstrates that EPA helps reduce elevated triglyceride levels and symptoms of depression. DHA has been found to protect against brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. EPA and DHA dietary supplements are commonly manufactured from krill oil, fish oil, cod liver oil, or algal oil (a vegetarian source).
*Dr. Rachelle’s Top Omega Supplements:*
ProOmega 2000 by Nordic Naturals
OmegAvail Hi-Po by Designs for Health
Algae Omega by Nordic Naturals
*Green tea (Camellia sinensis) *
Green tea is an antioxidant-rich tea. Research has demonstrated that green tea can benefit memory, attention, and brain function. These effects may be partly attributed to the amino acid l-theanine. Green tea extract may help to improve a number of factors related to aging and chronic disease. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the major catechin, an antioxidant compound, found in green tea. Green tea extract supplements that contain EGCG and caffeine may be effective at increasing metabolism. Additionally, green tea improves markers for metabolic diseases, including reductions in blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) levels. The antioxidants in green tea may also have liver protective effects in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
*Dr. Rachelle’s Top Green Tea Supplements:*
Green Tea Extract by Klaire Labs
Green Tea extract (decaf) by Pure Encapsulations
Green Tea Ext 80% 275mg by Vital Nutrients
Green Tea by Vitanica
Supporting our brain health as we age is multifaceted, but in certain cases supplementation to specifically support cognitive function can be useful. Citicoline is an endogenous nucleotide and an essential intermediate in the synthesis of cell membrane phospholipids. In people ages 50-85, citicoline supplementation improves memory performance and prevents cognitive decline. In healthy adult women aged 40-60 citicoline has been shown to enhance attention performance, and in adolescents citicoline mproves motor speed and attention.
*Dr. Rachelle’s Top Citicoline Supplements:*
Citicoline Cognizin 250mg by Vital Nutrients
Brain Vitale by Designs for Health
ProThrivers Wellness Brain by Integrative Therapeutics
Of course, there are many other factors that can play a role in supporting healthy aging: have you reviewed your nutrigenomics with Dr. Rachelle? Perhaps walking through some of your genetic makeup could provide personalized strategies for aging healthfully and maintaining your vitality!