Anti-Aging Herbs & Supplements
Today we have a culture that not only insists upon living longer but also living healthier. It's one thing to prolong life, but quite another to make the extension of health and happiness. With the advent of disease preventive herbs added to the diet to elminate harmful food additives, we have been able to eliminate harmful dietary supplements like excessive sugars, salts, food preservatives that bring harm to our body. For many it's not simply a question in aging of stopping the processes which are totally natural, but to potentially slow the aging processes by supplementing when appropriate.
The other side of that equation is to add beneficial supplements to our body to assist in health maintenance and disease prevention. Below is a list of the top 10 anti-aging supplements provided by Vitamins and Nutrition organization. As with all herbs & supplements it's important to know the manufacturer, the FDA recommendations, and insist upon knowledge of dosages and dangers. The anti-aging herbs and anti-aging supplements are provided for information only to assist in educating. As with any ingestion or injection of supplements it should be done with a knowledgeable medical doctor who monitors effects and adjusts dosages accordingly to prevent harm.
Top 10 Anti-Aging Supplements & Herbs
Of the various approaches to slow down the aging process, calorie restriction is considered the gold standard. As supplements have improved though several have been found to slow down the factors that fuel the aging process. Accordingly we at Vitamins & Nutrition wanted to provide you with our top list of anti-aging supplements.
- DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) – is an adrenal hormone that is the precursor for steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. DHEA declines precipitously with advancing age in both men and women. DHEA became credible to the medical establishment when the New York Academy of Sciences published a book entitled DHEA and Aging. This book provided scientific validation for the many life extending effects of DHEA.
- Testosterone – The hormonal stimulus for sex drive in both men and women is testosterone, which declines with advancing age in both sexes. Testosterone also plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass and strength and bone density. The hormone is often administered to aging men and women as a topical cream, but oral testosterone supplements and injectable forms are also available.
- Estrogen and Progesterone – The “female” steroid hormones estrogen and progesterone play important roles in maintaining bone density and strength, sexual function, mental function and, in women, in countering the effects of the menopause. Recent studies indicate that estrogen may be an effective treatment for age-associated memory problems. Both estrogen and progesterone are available in a variety of forms natural or synthetic, oral or topical. There is considerable interest in the use of plant-derived phytoestrogens, which have weak (but safe) estrogenic activity as a possible replacement for drug forms of estrogen. One product, Natural Estrogen, has been specially designed for this purpose.
- Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is located beneath the brain. Melatonin is a highly potent antioxidant, which has been described as the pacemaker of the aging clock in humans. It is released every night as part of our time-dependent biorhythms to help induce sleep and recuperation from fatigue. Published studies indicate the importance of maintaining youthful levels of melatonin to help protect against age-related degenerative diseases.
- Pregnenolone is known as the “mother hormone” because it is the precursor of a number of hormones including DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Studies have demonstrated that the neurosteroid Pregnenolone has a stimulatory effect on memory.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of healthy mitochondrial function. It is incorporated into cells’ mitochondria throughout the body where it facilitates and regulates the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy. Aging humans have been found to have over 50% less CoQ10 on average compared to that of young adults. This finding makes CoQ10 one of the most important nutrients for people over 30 to supplement with. About 95% of cellular energy is produced in the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cells “energy powerhouses” and many maladies have been referred to as “mitochondrial disorders.” A growing body of scientific research links a deficiency of CoQ10 to age-related mitochondrial disorders.
- The amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine boosts mitochondrial energy production through its ability to facilitate fatty acid transport and oxidation in the cell. With the discovery of acetyl-L-carnitine arginate the benefits of acetyl-L-carnitine can now be greatly augmented. Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate is a patented form of carnitine that stimulates the growth of neurites in the brain. Studies show that acetyl-l-carnitine-arginate stimulates the growth of new neurites by an astounding 19.5% (as much as Nerve Growth Factor itself). Acetyl-l-carnitine-arginate acts together with acetyl-l-carnitine to increase neurite outgrowth.
- Aspirin – The most common cause of disability and death in the United States is an abnormal clot that develops inside an artery to cause a heart attack (blocked blood vessel in the heart), or a stroke (blocked blood vessel in the brain). Aspirin has an immediate and lasting effect on blood platelets, making them less likely to clump together and making blood flow smoothly.
- Carnosine is a multifunctional dipeptide made up of a chemical combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is found both in food and in the human body. Long-lived cells such as nerve cells (neurons) and muscle cells (myocytes) contain high levels of carnosine. Muscle levels of carnosine correlate with the maximum life spans of animals. Carnosine levels decline with age. Muscle levels decline 63% from age 10 to age 70, which may account for the normal age-related decline in muscle mass and function. Since carnosine acts as a pH buffer, it can keep on protecting muscle cell membranes from oxidation under the acidic conditions of muscular exertion. Carnosine enables the heart muscle to contract more efficiently through enhancement of calcium response in heart myocytes. Aging causes irreversible damage to the body’s proteins. The underlying mechanism behind this damage is glycation. A simple definition of glycation is the cross-linking of proteins and sugars to form non-functioning structures in the body. The process of glycation can be superficially seen as unsightly wrinkled skin. Glycation is also an underlying cause of age-related catastrophes including the neurologic, vascular, and eye disorders. Carnosine is a unique dipeptide that interferes with the glycation process.
- Fish Oil – Studies on omega-3 fatty acids are so impressive that an agency of the National Institutes of Health published a report stating that fish oil can help reduce deaths from heart disease. The FDA itself states supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may actually reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. There are several mechanisms attributed to fish oil’s beneficial effects. The latest government report cites the triglyceride-lowering effects of fish oil on reducing heart and blood vessel disorders. Another beneficial mechanism of fish oil is to protect healthy blood flow in arteries.
Since the 1930s it has been known that a diet restricted in calories, but otherwise rich in nutrients, dramatically extends the life span of experimental animals. Over two thousand studies have confirmed the effectiveness of calorie restriction (or “undernutrition without malnutrition, ” as Roy Walford calls it) in a wide variety of species. While the effectiveness of this antiaging regimen is likely far greater than others currently available, the difficulty of the regimen for most people is also far greater. Serious life-extensionists should nevertheless consider trying at least a mild version of the diet.
The American Botanical Council has also been very instrumental in researching the benefits of herbs, and harmful effects, so the consumer is aware of claimed, versus proven efficacious herb compounds benefits.
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