When you look online to learn about the best anti-aging supplements, you will find many suggestions, most of which aim at selling products. Fortunately, there are some safe bets backed by science that you can trust that come up repeatedly. In this post, I will share my perspective on the best anti-aging supplements after experimenting with various supplements and doing extensive research online.
What Are Anti-Aging Supplements?
What makes a supplement “anti-aging”? In most people’s minds, “anti-aging” means you look younger and feel younger. Basically, you want supplements that will help your skin retain more elasticity and prevent wrinkles. Moreover, anti-aging supplements will help your body function optimally so that you will avoid or at least delay some typical signs of aging like aches and pains, poor sleep, and low energy.
I used to be the supplement lady. I spent hundreds of dollars each month on supplements, trying to improve my health. Back then, I was also trying all the healing diets around because I was so tired of feeling tired. Whenever I consulted any health professional about my health complaints (low energy was the main one), I would be told something to the effect: of course, you are tired. You are a mother of young children! I knew there was more to it! I shouldn’t feel this way! So, I kept researching diet, lifestyle, and supplementation while striving to feel better.
Over time, I learned some vital lifestyle and diet practices that made a huge difference. In this post, I will call them anti-aging lifestyle practices because anything that supports your body’s optimal function will help you feel younger for longer. Even though this post is about anti-aging supplements (which we will address in the next section), I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t address your lifestyle first. You cannot fix a poor lifestyle through supplementation!
1- Nutrient Dense Foods/Quality Water
The purpose of anti-aging supplements is to fill the gaps that your diet leaves. The more nutrient-dense your diet, the better! You can eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods when you follow whatever diet works best for your body or your lifestyle, whether keto, vegan, Paleo, etc.
Read Intermittent Fasting Food List: Yes and No Foods for Weight Loss Success for a deep dive into nutrient-dense foods.
As far as water goes, you must ensure you stay hydrated (drink at least half your body weight in pounds in ounces of water. Avoid city tap water. If you have good quality well water, excellent! If not, you can find a natural spring nearby by consulting Find A Spring or purchasing a quality water purifier.
As you age, your muscle mass and bone density decrease. The decrease in muscle mass and the fact that many people are more sedentary as they age lead to weight gain. Exercise will help avoid all that (it will even help prevent a decrease in bone density). A few other anti-aging benefits of exercise:
- Improve your posture
- Improve your flexibility
- Incrase your endurance
- Stronger heart and longs
The best way to exercise after 40 is to focus on strength-building exercises. Read my post Starting t Yoga at 40 or Later: Everything You Need to Know if you think yoga might be something you would enjoy.
3- Fresh Air
Spending time outside is excellent for your mood and your overall health.
According to a study in the Journal of Aging and Health, adults over 70 who spent time outdoors experienced fewer sleep difficulties, complained less about aches and pains, and enjoyed improved mobility and ability to perform daily activities.5 ways being outdoors can make you healthier and happier
4- Regular Fasting
Fasting is a powerful tool to stay young and healthy. In fact, I have over one hundred articles on this site that address fasting and its benefits. For example, read 10 Fasting Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind.
In the context of anti-aging, in one particular study, rats who were fasted every other day lived 83% longer! Wow! Fasting increases your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) secretion, which will:
- Reduce recovery time from injuries
- Improve lean muscle growth
- Accelerate fat burning
Stress, exercise, nutrition, and sleep can all affect the amount of HGH your pituitary gland produces.
5- Proper Sleep
Sleep is the ultimate repair mechanism that relies on daily! When you sleep:
- Your body releases HGH. Remember? HGH helps fight age-related issues like muscle mass decrease.
- Your sympathetic nervous system takes a break. This will lower your stress response, decrease your blood pressure, and improve your cardiovascular health.
- Your body reduces inflammation. When you sleep, your body releases cytokines. Cytokines help your body fight inflammation and improve your immune function.
Best Anti-Aging Supplements Worth Buying
Ok, by now, maybe you are thinking: all I wanted to know is what are the best anti-aging supplements worth buying! I didn’t want a big speech on how to improve my lifestyle! Well, I would be doing you a disservice if I told you about my favorite anti-aging supplements without strongly emphasizing these practices.
Top 5 Anti-Aging Supplements
Here we go! The long-awaited five anti-aging supplements worth taking are collagen, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin D, and vitamins A and B (I will tell you how to get them in one product).
There is a reason I put this anti-aging supplement as the first on the list. It would be if I could only take one supplement to improve my skin. I have dry skin, and taking collagen makes a visible difference. My knees are no longer white (you know, the white dry skin around your knees?).
How Does Collagen Work?
Collagen is a protein in your body found in bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and skin. It helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and promote skin cell renewal. As you age, your body produces less collagen, which contributes to wrinkles and sagging. Moreover, there is a bidirectional relationship between collagen and hyaluronic acid (more on hyaluronic acid later). Hyaluronic acid helps increase collagen production, and collagen helps improve hyaluronic acid absorption.
Does Taking Collagen Supplements Really Help?
As pointed out in this article, the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of collagen to improve your skin and delay the signs of aging is far from solid. There are 28 types of collagen; your body may not break it up efficiently. Many studies are done on animals, and collagen manufacturers typically fund the ones done on humans.
The best way to know if you are using a brand of collagen that benefits you is to have dry skin like me and notice a visible improvement. You may have to experiment. I started noticing it with expensive MLM brands. In the end, I settled for the Organika Enhanced Collagen. I buy a huge container from Costco. It is very affordable and super effective.
MSM (or methylsulfonylmethane) in your body acts like the “glue” that holds your amino acids together. It is a water soluble white, odorless, crystalline compound that contains 34% elemental sulfur. Methylsulfonylmethane reduces pain, inflammation, and allergic reactions.
How Does MSM Work?
One way that MSM works is by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen. Furthermore, it reduces inflammation and detoxifies the body. Lastly, MSM helps improve nutrient absorption throughout your body, enhances anti-oxidant usage (and decreases free radicals).
Does MSM Really Help?
I don’t have personal experience with MSM. However, writing this article convinced me to include it in my daily supplementation regimen. There is a decent amount of evidence that MSM helps reduce the signs of aging. For example, this study indicated that MSM is effective in reducing visual signs of skin ageing even at a low dose of 1 g/d.
I can’t suggest any particular brand. All I did to pick mine was search for MSM at my favorite online health store.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronat. Your body naturally produces this gooey substance, mainly found in your skin, connective tissues, and eyes.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Work?
Hyaluronic Acid helps your body retain moisture. Half of the hyaluronic acid in your body is found in your skin. Moreover, there is a bidirectional relationship between collagen and hyaluronic acid (more on hyaluronic acid later). Hyaluronic acid helps increase collagen production, and collagen helps improve hyaluronic acid absorption.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Really Help?
A dose of 120-240 mg a day taken for one month will significantly increase your skin moisture, according to this study. Well-hydrated skin is important to reduce the signs of aging, which explains why hyaluronic acid has been shown to reduce the signs of aging in several studies.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the one miracle vitamin I would not go without. Particularly here, in Ontario, where sun exposure is insufficient for at least six months of the year. When I used to struggle with fatigue, I went to get some basic bloodwork done one year after feeling exhausted, achy, and miserable for a couple of months. The results revealed a vitamin D deficiency. I have been supplementing with at least 1,000 IUs every day since then and never had the same issue.
How Does Vitamin D Work?
Most people know that vitamin D is essential to calcium absorption and bone health. However, there is so much more to it!
It turns out that vitamin D behaves more like a hormone than a vitamin. What does that mean? It means that it acts as a messenger rather than being used by your metabolism.
Does Vitamin D Really Help?
Studies confirm that Vitamin D is essential to support proper immune function, improve your mood, protect against cardiovascular disease, reduce your risk of cancer, prevent cognitive decline, and relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases (read this article about the benefits of vitamin D for all the supporting studies).
Furthermore, vitamin D has been shown to help prevent premature aging from sun exposure.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A, B complex, and vitamin C are critical to support your skin health. I will focus on vitamin A, but read List of the best vitamins for skin to learn more about the others.
How Does Vitamin A Work?
Vitamin A comes from two sources:
- Retinoids: Found in animal sources (includes retinol).
- Cartenoids or provitamin A: Found in plant sources (your body will produce vitamin A from carotenoids).
Does Vitamin A Really Help?
Vitamin A has been shown to fight off free radicals. Free radicals break down collagen and contribute to wrinkles. Moreover, vitamin A prevents sun damage and promotes cellular repair. According to this study, vitamin A will even increase your skin’s thickness after only four weeks.
Apart from fasting and vitamin D, the PowerShake is the third essential element that helped me regain my health and vitality. Interestingly enough, it is incredibly high in vitamin A. Aside from its skin-deep benefits, vitamin A helps create energy in your cells.
Learn more about the Power Shake.