healthy senior woman living a long life

7 Best Supplements for Longevity

We've all heard the legend of the fountain of youth—a mythical spring that if one bathes in it or drinks from it (choose one or the other, please) grants long life and youthful vitality. Unfortunately, no such fountain to reverse the aging process has been discovered to date.

But there's good news for all those longevity enthusiasts out there: nutrients (and nutritional supplements) can help combat the aging process.

What’s the difference between a “health span” vs “life span”?

Elderly healthy people

First off, let's talk about quality of life, or health span. No one wants their last decade on this earth confined to a gurney. So "living as long as possible" isn't the point, in and of itself. Instead, experts in this field have coined the term "health span" to denote the period of life spent in good health, free from the less desirable effects of aging.

To achieve this, you have to see your body as an interconnected system. What good is heart health if you're not supporting your mind or joint comfort? As always, the best "supplement" for a long life is taking care of your whole self and that means a healthy diet, regular exercise and mental stimulation.

But there are certain longevity supplements that can also help inhibit certain natural aspects of aging; the ones that cause you to look and feel older. Read on below to find out more about the top seven supplements for longevity.

1. Keep your vital organs healthy with CoQ10

Healthy mature woman exercising

Odds are you've heard of CoQ10—an antioxidant produced naturally by your body. Unfortunately, levels of CoQ10 decline with age. This is a problem because CoQ10 is a vital component for the biological process that turns nutrients from the food you eat into ATP, the main compound that your cells use for energy.

While commonly (and correctly) associated with heart health, CoQ10's status as a cellular-energy helper means it is crucial for all of the high-energy organs in your body (think brain, liver and kidneys). But once again, which CoQ10 supplement to take comes down to absorption…or this nutrient's troubling lack thereof.

Traditional CoQ10 supplements are made with ubiquinone, an already-oxidized form of CoQ10 that is difficult for your body to absorb. Ubiquinol is different. This unoxidized form of CoQ10 absorbs up to seven times better than standard ubiquinone…which means your heart and energy-demanding cells get more of it.

A word on absorption: getting CoQ10 into your cells is the other challenge. Choose a ubiquinol supplement augmented with shilajit, a mineral-like compound that promotes cellular CoQ10 absorption by stabilizing it in its ubiquinol form. And if you're really getting up there in years, consider one with PQQ as well—this nutrient encourages the growth of new mitochondria (to help maintain healthy metabolic function).

2. Age like a fine wine, thanks to resveratrol

Resveratrol, found in grapes, is a longevity nutrient

Speaking of youth at the cellular level—you ever heard the expression "aged like a fine wine?" It's not just for aficionados anymore! There's a compound found in red grapes called resveratrol. It helps fight oxidizing free radicals that can affect everything from your skin to your heart at the cellular level.

More importantly, resveratrol is adept at getting your body to mimic the health benefits of a calorie-restricted diet. These difficult-to-maintain dietary regimens have shown results in supporting lifespan…and a resveratrol supplement can help you achieve similar results, without counting calories from now until your last breath.

Choose a resveratrol supplement that delivers the biologically active form of this compound—trans-resveratrol…along with synergistic nutrients, such as fisetin and quercetin (more on them next).

3. Reclaim the energy of your youth

Energetic senior man surfing

Speaking of cellular energy, lipoic acid is a crucial nutrient for "cellular energy maintenance," aka keeping your mitochondria pumping and your cells chugging along—all while avoiding the speedbumps caused by cellular stress.

The thing is, there are two forms of lipoic acid: R and S. For simplicity's sake, we'll just say that it is the "R" form of lipoic acid that is biologically active in your body—it's the better of the two for fighting off those pesky free-radicals. A special R-Lipoic Acid formula achieves much higher blood levels of lipoic acid than traditional supplements—which is why it's one of our most popular anti-aging products.

What about if you're not just trying to proactively keep your energy levels up—you're enmeshed in a bitter fight with general fatigue…the kind that you need to have more than a few decades under your belt to be familiar with. This is not the time to turn to your coffee cup—the effects of caffeine are short-lived and may not be all that good for you in the long run. Instead, turn to nicotinamide riboside, an alternative form of vitamin B3 that fights general fatigue, promotes longevity and supports youthful energy production at the cellular level.

There's a coenzyme in every cell called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (or NAD+). It, too, helps create ATP, the compound that your body uses for cellular energy (and production of which declines over time). So, if you've ever felt like you don't have the energy you used to, you're probably right!

NIAGEN® is the first commercially available form of nicotinamide riboside. This helps fight aging at the cellular level while also supporting healthy energy production. In animal studies, it's helped promote youthful cognitive function and encourage longevity.

NIAGEN® is a registered trademark of ChromaDex, Inc., Patents see:

4. This spice promotes youthful, comfortable movement

Curcumin for youthful movement

Inhibiting inflammation to support whole-body health is important—especially as you get older. You want to encourage a healthy inflammatory response…like when you were younger.

Curcumin is a compound found in extracts of the spice turmeric that is famous for its health properties. The main reason for curcumin's reputation is its ability to inhibit inflammatory factors to support joint and vital organ health. Healthy joints are more comfortable and allow for better mobility as you age—and why you want to keep your vital organs healthy is pretty self-explanatory.

Here's the tricky part: curcumin is not well absorbed by the body (otherwise we could just chow down on curry and other delicious Indian food). So, you'll want to select a curcumin that absorbs well and is packed with the active turmeric compounds that help keep you healthy (called turmerones).

Curcumin Elite™ Turmeric Extract is a supplement that offers 45x more bioavailable free curcuminoids and 270x better absorption of total curcuminoids than standard curcumin—so you easily get the maximum health benefits.

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5. Stay sharp as a tack with lithium

Lithium is a trace mineral that has been used for decades at high doses for healthy mood support. At lower doses, however, lithium has a different benefit: brain health. Your brain naturally produces certain proteins, some of which can accumulate and affect brain health as you age.

Lithium has the ability to encourage your mind's natural biological processes for clearing those proteins, making way for healthy brain function. What's more, emerging evidence points to lithium as a longevity nutrient in its own right—and it has to do with your DNA.

Each of your chromosomes is tipped by a protective cap called a telomere. Every time your DNA replicates itself, however, those telomeres get ever-so-slightly shorter. This process is considered to be a major hallmark of aging. When they get too short, they can't fulfill their primary function—protecting your delicate DNA—as effectively.

Research has observed that some people on long-term, high-dose lithium regimens have longer-than-expected telomeres—which could lead to longer lifespans. In fact, one study also found that lower doses of lithium found in tap water were associated with longer lifespan. Speak to a healthcare professional and decide the dose of lithium that is right for your needs!

6. Supplements that clear out senescent cells

Cleaning elderly woman

Quercetin, fisetin and theaflavins from black tea each have their individual benefits, but we're enamored with the longevity benefits of these nutrients when they're combined. Why? The answer is senescent cells. These old cells get to a point where they no longer function as optimally as younger cells—and can rain on the parades of nearby cells that are still going strong—a natural phenomenon called "cellular senescence."

Theaflavin compounds from black tea as well as quercetin and fisetin are particularly good at helping your body clear senescent cells, so your body can function like it did when it was younger. The best part: if you combine these senolytics (senolytics are nutrients that help remove senescent cells to promote levels of youthful cells) you only have to take it once a week!

7. Live long at the cellular level with L-Ergothionine

When we say "stay healthy", we tend to think about our heart, mind and joints. But all of your body's moving and non-moving parts have one thing in common: they're made up of cells. And cells can age just like the rest of you. To prevent this from happening too quickly, your body is rife with a special amino acid called L-ergothionine. We can't make it ourselves, so we must get it from the foods we eat (white button mushrooms are packed with L-ergothionine, for instance).

Here's the interesting part: we all have highly specialized mechanisms for getting L-ergothionine into our cells. If this special amino acid wasn't vital to our vitals, that pathway simply wouldn't be there. Scientists think that ergothionine is so important because it helps fight oxidation at the cellular level. Oxidative stress is one of the key underlying factors of normal aging—and egothionine levels decrease as you age.

What are the best anti-aging supplements?

Everyone is different—it's important to talk to your healthcare professional about whether you may require supplementation to get the longevity nutrients your body needs.

And if you have questions about the supplements I've just described, you can give our Wellness Specialists a call as well. Here's to a long and vital future!

About the Author: John Gawley graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in English before beginning his career as a technical writer, copy writer and content manager. John has extensive experience in the health and wellness field, and he is the Senior Copywriter at Life Extension.


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