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It goes without saying that you want a healthy youthful life now and as you get older. An active lifestyle with engaging social interactions and moderately reduced calorie diet are factors that generally support health promotion. According to more recent research studies, there is likely a role for supplements in overall health promotion. As a naturopathic doctor, I have found that targeted supplements can positively and measurably impact your health. In this article I will mention theories of aging and five supplements that can improve how you age.

Theories of Aging

In order to live a more youthful life, it’s important to understand the factors that affect how well you age. The most important factors that we currently know relate to the amount of protective antioxidants we consume (Oxidative Theory of Aging), the level of inflammation within our bodies (‘Inflamm-aging’ Theory), the state of our immune system and our genetics.

5 Youth-Promoting Supplements

1. Antioxidants

These protective factors reduce the amount of damage in your cells and tissues. Hundreds of studies have proven the protective benefits of antioxidants on human health. For example, many studies have demonstrated the antioxidant benefits of supplements including resveratrol (an extract from grapes and other plants), green tea extract, curcumin (found in turmeric spice) and many other naturally-existing compounds. A 2013 study in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the amount of polyphenol antioxidants (such as resveratrol, green tea and others) in older Italian adults from Tuscany. The study concluded that for those seniors that had the highest level of polyphenols, they enjoyed a higher longevity, or reduced mortality, compared to seniors with the lowest level of polyphenols.

2. Vitamin D

Approximately 50% of the population is deficient in vitamin D. A large German study of almost 10,000 adults between 50-74 found that vitamin D deficiency was correlated with increased mortality (from all causes and for cardiovascular, cancer-related, and respiratory-related mortality independently). A large review study also came to the same conclusion; this study looked at 12 studies consisting of over 32000 elderly adults and was published in 2013 in the journal Ageing Research Reviews. Make sure to get your vitamin D levels tested and increase it accordingly with supplements as recommended by your health practitioner.

3. Omega-3 fish oils

The National Institute of Health has stated that fish oil can help reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease. This is a significant statement considering that cardiovascular disease is one of the main culprits in our chronic disease epidemic. Fish oils has been shown to reduce heart and blood disorders and can promote healthy blood flow in arteries.

4. B-Vitamins

These vitamins help support your body’s overall metabolism and have an important role in your heart health. In fact, when one or more of three specific B-vitamins are low (B6, B12, B9 (also known as folate)), your level of a substance called “homocysteine” rises. Homocysteine in a non-essential amino acid intermediate substance that your body produces. Homocysteine independently raises your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It is amazing to know that simply getting enough B-vitamins can make such a dramatic positive effect on your health.

5. Multivitamin

The most common supplement taken regularly are multivitamins. A recent review study compared the effects of taking multivitamins from 15 large studies conducted in the United States, Europe and Japan. It concluded that multivitamins provide a modest overall protective benefit. The study was published in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2013. Of course, individual needs vary, however, a multivitamin will at least address a broad range of nutrients that you need to function properly. As one example, a study in Italy found that seniors with the lowest amount of the mineral selenium experienced higher mortality rates. Selenium is in most multivitamins and may be one of the more significant protective ingredients.

Dr. Rahim Habib ND
About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or www.FamilyNaturopath.ca.