Written by Myles Spar
Posted on: March 26, 2019
One of the most valuable lessons we learn in our lives is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This concept definitely holds true when it comes to supplements, particularly those purported to reverse aging. Who really believes they can pop a pill at bedtime and wake up looking 10 years younger?
While it’s true that many of the claims made about anti-aging supplements are wildly exaggerated, some of these products are actually worth the money. The key is to choose ones backed by solid science that provide legitimate results. Here are some of my favorite anti-aging supplements that can help to reverse the signs of aging and work to keep you feeling young.
Nicotinamide riboside has been getting a ton of buzz in the supplement world, and with good reason. A form of vitamin B, nicotinamide supports your cells’ mitochondria, which are responsible for energy production. How does nicotinamide work? It’s converted by the body into a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) that powers many key biological processes. These include:
- Conversion of food into energy
- DNA repair
- Fortification of cell defenses
- The setting of circadian rhythm/internal clock
Talk about critical functions! But the amount of NAD+ within your body gradually decreases as you get older, and low levels of it have been linked to a number of chronic, age-associated diseases.
Enter nicotinamide riboside supplements, which have been shown to elevate levels of NAD+ in the body. And they appear to be safe as well as effective. In a small, open-label study looking at the effects of oral nicotinamide riboside supplementation, the supplement was well tolerated and no adverse events were reported. Based on their findings, the researchers behind this study concluded that nicotinamide riboside “may have potential as a therapy in patients with mitochondrial dysfunction due to genetic and/or acquired diseases.”
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Extracted from the fruits and seeds of the sea buckthorn plant, sea buckthorn oil is packed with potent active ingredients known for their ability to regenerate, repair, and protect. One of these is palmitoleic acid (omega-7), a fatty acid that has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, regulate metabolism, and more. In one study of middle-aged, overweight individuals, supplementing with 220 mg of omega-7 fatty acid for one month significantly reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).
As I explain here, CRP is a protein that plays a role in your body’s inflammatory response, and research suggests a link between high CRP levels and heart attack risk. Researchers found that omega-7 supplementation also helped maintain triglycerides as well as HDL and LDL cholesterol. More and more research indicates that inflammation is at the root of nearly every health problem that affects us as we age, making sea buckthorn a good addition to your supplement regimen.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)
I’ve already touched on the crucial role cell mitochondria play in keeping your body humming, and PQQ is another supplement that can help protect your mitochondria. This compound found in plants has strong antioxidant properties that enable it to prevent oxidative damage to cells while promoting the spontaneous regeneration of new mitochondria in aging cells.
Much of the research around PQQ has focused on its ability to protect against memory loss and cognitive decline. In one study looking at the effects of PQQ and CoQ10 (either alone or together), rats fed PQQ showed improved memory function and learning ability, leading researchers to conclude that “PQQ is potentially effective for preventing neurodegeneration caused by oxidative stress.” Preliminary studies in humans have also shown PQQ to be beneficial for brain function, particularly when used in combination with CoQ10.
There is no fountain of youth in pill form, but the right supplements can maximize your potential, helping you maintain your natural vitality. I’ll continue to keep you posted on the latest developments in anti-aging supplements, but in the meantime, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter, Dr. Spar’s Performance Health Bulletin. You’ll get the best scientifically-validated health tips and articles sent to your inbox, and we’ll send you a free copy of my “Top 10 Supplements for Men” guide to get you started.
To order these or other supplements that Dr Spar recommends for brain health, go to his online store that is part of the Fullscript online dispensary.
Once you create an account you go to the box that says “shop by dispensary categories” on the left. The “Brain” dropdown from that box will pull up his recommended supplements including those mentioned here.
About Myles Spar, MD
Myles Spar, MD, MPH is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Integrative Medicine. As a clinician, teacher and researcher on faculty of two major medical centers, he has led the charge for a more proactive, holistic and personalized approach to care that focuses on cutting edge technology and preventative care. Dr. Spar has traveled with the NBA, presented a TEDx Talk, appeared on Dr. Oz, and been featured in publications such as the Men’s Journal and the Los Angeles Times.