THE BEST & MOST SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN ANTI-AGING SUPPLEMENTS I AM CURRENTLY TAKING …
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) / NADH / Brand Name Niagen ** ANTI-AGING ** — Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard showed that NAD+ can reverse the biological aging process of mice. Early clinical HUMAN trials are highly promising. NAD+ plays a key role in cellular metabolism (the mitochondria) and works on the molecular level. Too little is known to determine if high doses are safe, but it didn’t kill any mice. I will be taking four times the recommended dosage. https://hms.harvard.edu/news/genetics/new-reversible-cause-aging-12-19-13 / https://youtu.be/vCCdmGKtxPA
Pterostilbene (Brand Name: PteroPure) ** ANTI-AGING, NOOTROPIC, ANTI-CANCER ** — Also produced by Chromodex. This is basically a high-powered version of resveratrol – more bioavailable and more potent. Derived from blueberries. Much greater cellular uptake in the body than resveratrol and much more powerful anti-aging and cognitive booster effects. https://examine.com/supplements/pterostilbene/
Oxaloacetic acid (aka BenaGene) ** ANTI-AGING ** — Oxaloacetic acid is a critical component of the Kreb’s cycle. BenaGene mimics the effects of caloric restriction. Proven to increase lifespan in laboratory animals. https://examine.com/supplements/oxaloacetate/
Carnosine / beta-alanine ** ANTI-AGING, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE ** — Carnosine is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine which is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissues. Carnosine scavenges reactive oxygen species (ROS) and alpha-beta unsaturated aldehydes formed from peroxidation of cell membrane fatty acids during oxidative stress. Carnosine can chelate heavy metals ions. Carnosine reduces the rate of buildup for AGE particles. Carnosine can increase the Hayflick limit in human fibroblasts and reduces the telomere shortening rate. Particularly important for VEGANS, who seldom get enough carnosine from food. https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/
Ubiquinol ** ANTI-AGING, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE**— A more bio-available form of COQ10. Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule found in mitochondria. It has a critical role in producing energy for the body. If you are taking a statin drug, then you absolutely MUST supplement with ubiquinol. https://examine.com/supplements/coenzyme-q10/
Astaxanthin ** ANTI-AGING, VISION ** — Astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant with significant supporting evidence for anti-aging effects. In a 2009 study on multivitamin use and telomere length, longer telomeres were associated with the use of antioxidant formulas. According to the authors, telomeres are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. Additionally, inflammation induces oxidative stress and lowers the activity of telomerase, the enzyme responsible for maintaining telomeres. Astaxanthin has emerged as one of the most potent and beneficial antioxidants currently known, with potent anti-inflammatory and DNA-protective capabilities. https://examine.com/supplements/astaxanthin/
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) ** ANTI-AGING, NOOTROPIC ** — PQQ activates genes that promote the formation of new mitochondria. It also beneficially interacts with genes directly involved in mitochondrial health. PQQ acts as a neuro-protector and cognitive enhancer.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid ** ANTI-AGING, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE ** — ALA is a fatty acid that exists in the mitochondria and is involved in energy metabolism. Commonly taken with L-Carnitine supplements as they are related in mechanisms. ALA gives a short but potent reduction of oxidation by increasing anti-oxidant enzymes, and may decrease blood glucose acutely. It is a potent anti-oxidant compound. It works with mitochondria and the body’s natural anti-oxidant defenses. It is also seen as an anti-aging compound since it can reverse some of the oxidant damage related effects of aging. Best to take with NAC and L-Carnitine. https://examine.com/supplements/alpha-lipoic-acid/
ALCAR (N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine) ** ANTI-AGING, NOOTROPIC ** — L-Carnitine and the related compound Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) are compounds able to alleviate the effects of aging and disease on mitochondria, while increasing the mitochondria’s potential to burn fat. ALCAR is often used as a brain booster, due to its ability to increase alertness and mitochondrial capacity while providing support for the neurons. ALCAR has been shown to be very effective at alleviating the side effects of aging, like neurological decline and chronic fatigue. ALCAR supplementation is also a very safe method of improving insulin sensitivity and blood vessel health, particularly for people with delicate or weakened cardiac health. ALCAR can also protect neurons and repair certain damage, such as that caused by diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. Theoretically, ALCAR supplementation for fat burning should work well, but studies on ALCAR in isolation do not show very good results. Fat loss is typically attributed to the increased activity done by people, from the increased energy they have from ALCAR supplementation. https://examine.com/supplements/l-carnitine/
I AM ALSO TAKING …
Vitamin D3 ** ANTI-AGING ** — Vitamin D is one of 24 micronutrients necessary for human survival. Research has shown that those with higher levels of vitamin D are more likely to have longer telomeres, and vice versa. This means that people with higher levels of vitamin D may actually age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D supports bone structure, mood, immunity, cognition and more. Your body produces vitamin D when sunlight hits exposed skin, so heavy supplementation during winter is a good idea. I take 5000 IU daily. https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-d/
L-Theanine ** NOOTROPIC ** — L-theanine is an amino acid not common in the body. It is found in green tea. L-theanine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is absorbed well when taken orally. L-theanine should be taken in conjunction with caffeine (coffee!) to enhance brain function. I do notice actual cognitive benefits when taking L-theanine with a morning cup of coffee. https://examine.com/supplements/theanine/
Lutein ** VISION ** — Lutein bioaccumulates in the eyes where it reduces oxidative stress. I credit high doses of lutein for keeping my eyes in good shape despite everyone in my family needing glasses and looking at a computer screen twelve hours a day. I still have 20/20 vision. https://examine.com/supplements/lutein/
Fish Oil ** OVERALL HEALTH, NOOTROPIC, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE ** — The only reliable source of DHA/EPA / Omega-3 fatty acids. As a vegan I would prefer not to take fish oil but algae DHA just doesn’t measure up. https://examine.com/supplements/fish-oil/
Melatonin — Melatonin is a hormone in the brain secreted to regulate our circadian rhythms, helping us sleep at night. Melatonin production declines as we age, which is why older adults have trouble sleeping. My strategy is to heavily replace anything that ‘declines as we age.’ I take 10 mg of melatonin at night – and I sleep like a baby. https://examine.com/supplements/melatonin/
Phosphatidylserine ** MUSCLE RECOVERY ** — While generally touted as a nootropic, there is no evidence that phosphatidylserine actually improves cognition. However, there is significant evidence that it should be used a sport supplement, as it promotes muscle recovery, decreases muscle damage from overtraining, and helps combat exercise-induced cortisol levels. https://examine.com/supplements/phosphatidylserine/ , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphatidylserine
L-Lysine ** IMMUNITY ** — A critical amino acid which is hard to find in the vegan diet. The only vegan sources of lysine that I know of are quinoa and hemp (both complete proteins, with a complete amino acid profile). Lysine has been shown to boost immune function.
L-Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC) ** NOOTROPIC, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE ** — Alpha-glycerophosphocholine (Alpha-GPC or α-GPC) is a cholinergic compound that is used for its cognitive-promoting properties, and to enhance power output in athletes. It appears to also support cellular membranes, and may aid in preventing cognitive decline .https://examine.com/supplements/alpha-gpc/
Bacopa Monnieri ** NOOTROPIC ** — Improves cognition and memory, reduces anxiety. Seems to work in both the elderly and young people. https://examine.com/supplements/bacopa-monnieri/
Full Spectrum B Complex — All B vitamins are critical to good health, especially Niacin (a building block of NAD+) and B12, which is difficult to obtain in a vegan diet. Plasma concentrations of the B vitamin folate corresponds to telomere length, and folate plays an important role in the maintenance of DNA integrity and DNA methylation, both of which influence the length of your telomeres.
Citicoline ** NOOTROPIC ** — CDP-choline (citicholine) is a nootropic compound that converts to both Choline and cytidine upon ingestion, the latter of which converts into Uridine in the body. It appears to confer cognitive-promoting properties as a prodrug for these two compounds. https://examine.com/supplements/cdp-choline/
Garlic Extract — Garlic offers many benefits to the heart and cardiovascular system. Recently it has been proven to reverse plaque buildup in arteries: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/127103/20160123/garlic-extract-can-help-prevent-heart-disease-taking-supplement-daily-reverses-plaque-buildup-in-arteries.htm
Tumeric / Curcumin ** ANTI-CANCER, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ** — the active ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric— it affects over 100 different pathways once it gets into a cell; among them, a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers. It is also an anti-inflammatory. It has a poor oral bioavailability so it should be paired with black pepper extract (piperine). https://examine.com/supplements/curcumin/
Broccoli Extract / Sulfuraphane ** ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ANTI-CARCINOGENIC ** — Not to be confused with Diindolylmethane which is another broccoli extract. Sulfuraphane is anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. https://examine.com/supplements/sulforaphane/
Flax oil ** ANTI-AGING ** — An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that those who have an omega-3 index of less than four percent age faster than those with indexes above eight percent. Therefore, your omega-3 index may also be an effective marker of your rate of aging. One of the central anti-aging theories relating to telomeres is to try to activate the enzyme telomerase, to actually increase the telomeres’ length and essentially reverse aging, and omega-3 fats appear to play a role in activating this enzyme.
Full Spectrum Multi Vitamin — Obviously.
Full Spectrum Plant Enzymes — Obviously.
Vitamin K2 — Critical vitamin for skeletal support and works well with D3. Research suggest vitamin K2 can provide substantial protection from prostate cancer, which is one of the leading causes of cancer among men in the United States.
Milk Thistle Extract — Good for cleansing the liver. https://examine.com/supplements/milk-thistle/
Vitamin E –-Research shows that vitamin E has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Both factors are important in skin regeneration and cell turnover, the process in which dead skin cells slough off and healthier, more radiant cells take their place.
I AM TAKING, BUT AMBIVALENT ABOUT …
N-Acetyl-Cysteine ** ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE **– NAC is a powerful antioxidant through glutathione buffering, however scientific research is somewhat inconclusive as to real benefits of this supplement. https://examine.com/supplements/n-acetylcysteine/
Resveratrol ** ANTI-AGING ** — The much-touted anti-aging benefits of resveratrol are unclear. It definitely increases lifespan in fruit flies and possibly in mice, but whether those effects will translate to human life extension is unknown. Anyway, the new supplement Pterostilbene is more potent and more bioavailable than resveratrol. I take them both. https://examine.com/supplements/resveratrol/
Rutin / Quercetin — Rutin is a bioflavanoid with possible anti-carcinogenic affects, although no serious scientific evidence supports Rutin as a supplement. It is also not very bioavailable. I may remove this one from my regimen. https://examine.com/supplements/quercetin/
L-Tryptophan — This is a mood stabilizer and anxiety-reducer similar to 5-HTP. I mainly take L-tryptophan because it is a precursor to NAD+, along with Niacin (vitamin B3). There was a scare in 1990 related to L-tryptophan but this was due to contamination, not side effects of the supplement itself.
Ginko Biloba — Supposedly boosts cognition, but unfortunately there is little scientific evidence for gingko as a nootropic. I am considering de-listing it from my regimen. https://examine.com/supplements/ginkgo-biloba/
Cranberry Extract — Proven for preventing and treating bladder disease and urinary tract infections; possibly has many other health benefits.
Panax Ginseng — Like gingko biloba, the evidence is inconclusive as to whether ginseng is effective in increasing cognition.
Grape Seed Extract — May offer heart-health benefits although evidence for overall benefits of grape seed extract is limited. https://examine.com/supplements/grape-seed-extract/
Lycopene ** ANTI-CANCER ** — Some evidence suggest lycopene fights cancer, especially prostate cancer. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/lycopene/evidence/hrb-20059666
High ORAC Mix — ORAC is an abbreviation for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and was developed by the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore. In short, ORAC units measure the antioxidant capacity of foods. The higher, the better. I take a high ORAC powder mix daily.
Maca — Maca has traditionally been used an aphrodisiac, but it may also help protect the brain from damage, improve bone health and improve cognition – although scientific evidence is fairly limited. https://examine.com/supplements/maca/
I AM CONSIDERING TAKING …
Creatine ** ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE ** — As a rock climber I am always looking for ways to get stronger – preferably with a minimal amount of effort! Creatine is one of the most popular and well-researched sports supplements. I am not yet taking it because I am still considered about potential side effects, mostly the fact that creatine draws a lot of water from muscles and thereby causes dehydration and stomach upset in large quantities. Nonethless, I will probably end up taking this supplement as the risks seem minor and easily mitigated by increased water consumption. https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/
MitoQ ** ANTI-AGING, NOOTROPIC ** — MitoQ was designed to accumulate extensively within mitochondria in vivo in order to increase the local antioxidant capacity and thereby decrease mitochondrial oxidative damage. Two major human clinical trials have shown MitoQ to be safe but evidence of benefit is inconclusive. https://examine.com/supplements/mitoq/ , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MitoQ
Piracetam ** NOOTROPIC ** — Piracetam is the prototype for Racetam supplements, which are a group of synthetic supplements intended to provide a cognitive boost. Evidence of usefullness in humans for cognitive enhancement is unclear, and the mechanism of action for racetams is not well understood. https://examine.com/supplements/piracetam/
NooPept ** NOOTROPIC ** — Has a similar effect to Piracetam, but there is little evidence showing a cognitive boost in healthy adults. More studies are needed. https://examine.com/supplements/noopept/
Metformin ** ANTI-AGING ** — Metformin is hardly new, having been discovered in 1922. It is a prescription drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes that is being examined for its life-extension properties. Metformin appears to slow or even halt the aging process in roundworms. In mice the anti-aging effect of metformin was a measly 5.86%. There are indications that antioxidants actually decrease the benefit of metformin supplementation. I am awaiting the results of the Longevity Study and human clinical trials before I consider taking metformin. I am also worried about potential side effects.
GLA-240 — An omega-6 fatty acid and good for the skin.
Glucosamine — May be able to slow joint degradation. Don’t take glucosamine if you are allergic to shellfish. https://examine.com/supplements/glucosamine/
TMG / betaine (Trimethylglycine) — is an active metabolite of Choline in the body and a component of beetroot. It serves a vital role in methylation in the body alongside folate, and is an osmoregulator like Creatine possible ergogenic aid as well. TMG may enhance athletic performance, offer cardiovascular benefits and help protect the liver, though research is unclear. https://examine.com/supplements/trimethylglycine/
DHEA ** ANTI-AGING, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE ** — In general I consider hormone supplementation somewhat risky. DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone and either exerts benefits on its own, or can convert into both Testosterone or Estrogen depending on the body’s need. DHEA supplementation is potent for reducing the ‘effects of aging’, but appears quite unreliable in its benefits. DHEA production decreases over time, meaning it is a ‘hormone of youth.’ DHEA supplementation is not necessarily safe. https://examine.com/supplements/dehydroepiandrosterone/ , http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/dhea/safety/hrb-20059173 , http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/dhea
Vinpocetine ** NOOTROPIC **— Vinpocetine readily crosses the blood-brain-barrier and is touted as a nootropic, but the cognitive enhancement benefits are not well supported at this time. Vinpocetine is a compound from the Periwinkle plant that is used as a cognitive protective and anti-aging agent. https://examine.com/supplements/vinpocetine/
DECIDED AGAINST TAKING or STOPPED TAKING …
Selenium — No proven scientific results from taking this supplement.
Magnesium — Magnesium is believed to influence telomere length by affecting DNA integrity and repair, in addition to its potential role in oxidative stress and inflammation. Note that if you are taking a lot of supplements, you may be getting enough magnesium from the capsules themselves, which are made of magnesium stearate. https://examine.com/supplements/magnesium/
Inositol — No conclusive evidence for benefits. https://examine.com/supplements/inositol/
L-Arginine — L-Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid. It is important for blood flow and nitric oxide levels, but oral supplementation may not reliably improve blood flow in humans. https://examine.com/supplements/arginine/
Linoleic acid — Supposedly induces fat loss, but even that claim is very, very weak. Not recommended. https://examine.com/supplements/conjugated-linoleic-acid/
Glutathione — Glutathione is a small amino acid containing molecule (peptide). The molecule exists normally in the food supply and in the the human body where it acts as a central antioxidant which prevents damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides and heavy metals. I stopped taking glutathione because it is ineffective as a supplement; In effect, glutathione is an indirect and expensive way to provide dietary L-cysteine which is ultimately all that is needed for the benefits of glutathione. There is, currently, no known benefit of orally ingested glutathione that cannot be more readily mimicked by supplementation of N-acetylcysteine. https://examine.com/supplements/glutathione/
GABA — GABA is the most potent depressive neuroamine in human brains. It regulates many of the depressive and sedative actions in brain tissue and is critical for relaxation. GABA is a highly regulated compound in vivo (in living), and is able to balance itself out in body tissues due to a myriad of factors. Due to these regulation factors, GABA as a supplement does not exert many depressive effects on its own. The human body is too adept at regulation, and orally ingested GABA cannot alter human physiology to much of a degree. https://examine.com/supplements/gaba/
Indo-3-Carbinol — Not enough information available for me to form an opinion.
Coenzyme Q10 — The much more bioavailable form of COQ10 is Ubiquinol, so I no longer take COQ10.
Ginger Extract — Heavy doses of ginger may increase testosterone levels. Ginger should be used to relieve nausea or aid digestion. I don’t see any reason to supplement regularly with ginger as part of a regimen. https://examine.com/supplements/ginger/
Acetlsalicicylic acid (Aspirin) — Aspirin is often used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation.[ Aspirin is also used long-term, at low doses, to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clot formation in people at high risk of developing blood clots. Low doses of aspirin may be given immediately after a heart attack to reduce the risk of another heart attack or the death of heart tissue. Aspirin may be effective at preventing certain types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. I decided that the potential side effects outweigh the benefits.
Beta-Alanine — Touted as a muscle booster but the effect is too small to be particularly interesting. There is little to no benefit on short term power output (powerlifting or sprinting) and moderate benefit with muscular endurance lasting less than 60 seconds, the time range of 60-240 seconds appears to be where beta-alanine routinely outperformed placebo (although the magnitude of benefit is fairly small). One meta-analysis concluded that, in the 60-240s range, beta-alanine can contribute to a 1.3+/-1.0% improvement in performance. Better than nothing, but a small benefit
GRAS = Generally Recognized as Safe
LOBA= Low Oral BioAvailability