Active Aging Week, an event sponsored by the International Council of Active Aging (ICAA), helps to bring awareness of a holistic approach to growing older. Along with deliberate activity, supplements may also play a significant role in reducing the risks and symptoms of some common age-related, degenerative conditions. While you’re engaging with your community for Active Aging Week, it may also be a great benefit for you to learn more about some of the best supplements for aging.

Why use supplements for aging?

In general, humans are able to acquire all of the vitamins and nutrients they need as part of a well-balanced died. But let’s be honest. Not everyone is diligent about making sure they eat the right foods or maintain the right balance in their meals. Supplements can assist older adults by keeping the essential nutrients balanced in their systems. On top of that, some supplements can enhance the body’s natural healing processes to reduce the effects of some common degenerative conditions associated with the aging process. It is important to note, however, that the addition of supplements in your daily routine is not a cure for natural aging. They should be used in conjunction with other healthy and holistic methods toward achieving an active aging lifestyle.

If you do decide to add supplements to your daily routine it is important to research what they are, what they do, and how they interact with other supplements and medications that you may already be taking. Before taking any supplement, make sure to discuss it with your doctor first as well.

Being informed is the best way to integrate these supplements for aging in a healthy way.

Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid

The combination of these two supplements has been linked to the increased efficiency of your cell’s mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy producers of your cells and boosting them can help restore a lack of energy. Having healthy mitochondria has also been shown to have an effect on cases of hypertension and diabetes. It is recommended to take 1,000 milligrams of acetyl-L-carnitine and 200-400 milligrams of alpha-lipoic acid a day.

Glucosamine and chondroitin

Another superstar supplement for aging is the team of glucosamine and chondroitin. It has been understood for some time that these natural chemicals, which are found in the fluid around your joints as well as the cartilage, can help ease the pain caused by osteoarthritis. The supplements are made from natural sources of these compounds and are safe to take in the correct doses. Use 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine and 900-1,200 milligrams of chondroitin a day.

S-Adenosyl methionine

Also known as SAMe, this supplement helps provide collagen-synthesizing sulfur to damaged or worn cartilage that helps to increase the strength in affected joints. While additional studies may be necessary, preliminary research indicates that SAMe may be as effective as NSAIDs for treating pain associated with osteoarthritis. Aside from the symptoms of osteoarthritis, SAMe has also been shown to help with depression and liver disease. It is currently recommended to take 200-400 milligrams twice a day.

Turmeric

Probably the tastiest of all supplements for aging, the Indian spice turmeric also has a number of restorative properties that can help with the aging process. It has been demonstrated that this popular curry spice could play a role in preventing the formation of brain plaques that are commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, turmeric has been known to benefit a number of other conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even headaches. If you take it as a supplement, use 500 milligrams of the standardized turmeric extract, found at your local health food store, two or three times a day. However, why take it as a supplement when you can add it to your cooking to spice up the flavor and gain the health benefits at the same time?

Fish oil

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been associated with good health as our bodies age. These acids prevents unhealthy fats from interrupting the creation of healthy brain cells. Fish oil contains these fatty acids and is the easiest way to obtain the nutrient for healthy aging. Along with the brain health aspects, fish oil also helps you maintain healthier skin, improves your heart function, and even helps hair stay healthy. You can take about two to three grams of distilled fish oil each day.

Magnesium

A leading problem among both men and women when it comes to aging is heart health. Taking magnesium supplements for aging can help regulate your blood pressure and reduce your risk of death from heart disease. Magnesium is essential for proper muscle function. The heart directly benefits from the right amount of this nutrient in the system. It also helps move essential electrolytes into your cells, which maintains a proper balance. The right dosage would be 250-400 milligrams of magnesium citrate, chelate, or glycinate a day.

Vitamin D and calcium

From the time we’re little kids, we are told the importance of calcium, in the form of drinking milk, for our health. The need for the right balance of calcium and vitamin D does not stop once we’ve reached adulthood. If you have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis you can likely get all of your calcium by consuming high-quality dairy, dark green vegetables, and fortified foods. However, it is essential that your body have the right vitamin D levels in order to absorb the calcium to begin with. Supplements can help with this process. If your food sources aren’t adequate, take vitamin D in conjunction with 500-700 milligrams of calcium citrate divided throughout the day at mealtimes.

Holistic approach to aging

The best supplements for aging are most effective when you maintain a holistic approach to your overall health. Exercise, proper diet, and special attention to your mental well-being are all essential for living well as you age.

We want to hear from you: what do you consider the best supplements for aging that are essential to maintain the right healthy balance as you age?

Image by Emuishere Peliculas via Flickr

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