We have some of the best anti-aging supplements on the market – from state-of-the-art cosmeceuticals to weird and wonderful elixirs – promising all sorts of miracles. So where to start? It can all get quite overwhelming!
The bottom line is: looking (and feeling) younger begins from the inside with good nutrition – getting enough of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally and regenerate.
There’s far more to anti-aging than getting rid of wrinkles. Approach it from a holistic point of view – taking care of your skin, as well as joint, bone, brain, eye and heart health – and you’ll look as good as you feel.
Here are all the best anti-aging supplements that you should know about:
Collagen doesn’t just keep our skin plump and wrinkle-free, it’s the ‘glue’ that holds our entire body together. This fibrous structural protein supports the skin, blood vessels, bones, tendons, cartilage and other connective tissues, and helps repair of almost all of the body’s tissues.
Our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow around 30. But lifestyle factors – like smoking, high sugar intake and excessive sun exposure – also contribute to its depletion.
To support your body’s collagen production, eat foods high in its building-block amino acids like red meat, chicken and fish. You can also take a dietary supplement – we like Pro-active Liquid Collagen (R1 150 for 500ml, onlineskinshop.co.za), containing hydrolyzed collagen that’s easily absorbed by the body.
We’ve all heard that calcium is crucial to maintaining strong bones, and calcium-rich foods and drinks are the ideal way to meet this need. For example, drinking a 250ml glass of low-fat milk and eating a cup of broccoli provides around 50% of our recommended daily intake.
But if you need to up your intake, pick a calcium supplement with added vitamin D (which helps the body to absorb calcium) and magnesium (to help the body use vitamin d and calcium effectively). Try Georen B-CAL-DM; from R86,95 for 30 swallow tablets, Dis-Chem.
About 15 to 20% of the brain is made up of omega-3 essential fatty acids, vital for its functioning (learning, memory and behaviour), as well as protecting it from inflammation and oxidative damage.
Indeed, the US’s ongoing Framingham Heart Study found at a nine-year follow-up that participants with the highest blood levels of omega-3 were 47% less likely to develop dementia than those with the lowest levels.
Our bodies cannot make omega-3, so we need to get it from our diets. Five foods richest in omega-3 are sardines, fortified eggs, spinach, canola oil, and chia seeds. A supplement is also a good idea; we like Solal Krill Oil Omega-3 (R284 for 60 capsules, Solal), free of heavy metals.
ALSO SEE: 5 Top Anti-Aging Foods For Your Brain
In 2001 the Us National Eye Institute released the results of its Age-Related Eye Disease Study 1, showing that daily doses of vitamin C (500mg), vitamin E (268mg), beta-carotene (15mg) and zinc (8mg) reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration and its associated vision loss.
Again, you should get most of what you need from a healthy, balanced diet. Red peppers are a great source of vitamin C, almonds are rich in vitamin E, sweet potatoes contain a large amount of beta-carotene, while zinc can be found in beef and chickpeas.
But you can top up with a good multivitamin, too. Biogen Multivitamin Plus (R299,95 for 180-capsule value pack, Dis-Chem) contains 77mg vitamin C, 20mg vitamin E, 10mg beta-carotene and 12mg zinc.
In SA, it’s estimated that 25% of women will develop a heart condition before the age of 60, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The good news is you can significantly reduce your risk by sustaining your levels of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
This nutrient is used by the cells to produce the energy needed for their growth and maintenance, and especially those of the heart which functions continuously and so needs more energetic support than any organ in the body. Recent studies have also found that CoQ10 helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and balance blood sugar.
CoQ10 is synthesized by the body, but declines with age and is also lower in people with chronic diseases. You can boost your levels by eating certain foods like beef, chicken, eggs, sardines, pistachio nuts, sesame seeds, oranges and cauliflower. And also with a dietary supplement – we like Viridian Co-Q10 with MCT 30mg; R257 for 60 capsules, Wellness Warehouse
Can I take too many supplements?
Surprisingly, despite being natural, it is possible to ‘overdose’ on vitamins and minerals. Check you’re not creating toxicity due to doubling up on certain nutrients (like zinc) by taking more than one supplement that includes these. It’s advisable to consult your GP before taking any new supplements.