by Nils Osmar. March 22, 2022
If you’re new to anti-aging, it can feel overwhelming to start reading about all of the supplements people are taking, because there are literally dozens, and some are surrounded by conflicting claims and hype.
One approach would be to begin by taking one or two supplements in each category below. Take a little time to see if they’re working for you, then if they are, experiment with adding more.
Types of Anti-Aging Supplements
- NAD Boosters (compounds that provide the raw ingredients the body can use to assemble more NAD). One proven to boost NAD levels is to start with a precursor such as NMN, NR or niacin. You don’t necessarily need all of three, just choose one and try it for a while. Be aware that niacin has some problematic side effects, including raising blood glucose. Its cousin niacinamide can interfere with sirtuin gene activation, so many people in the anti-aging community are avoiding it. I actually take all three, but if I had to choose just one NAD booster it would be NMN. Note: Taking NAD boosters such as NMN or NR appears to be more effective than taking NAD supplements.
- Apigenin. You might also want to take an apigenin supplement to protect your NAD from being destroyed by pro-aging enzymes. Or if you’d prefer to get your apigenin from food, you could buy some dried parsley and take it along with your NAD boosters, or drink chamomile tea or parsley tea. My choice: I cook with parsley and take apigenin as a supplement. I used to take apigenin with my NMN but I currently like taking it at night because it also promotes sleep.
- TMG. (tri-methylglycine). Many people who take NAD precursors take some TMG along with them because the most common ones – NMN, NR and niacin – all use up methyl groups and can leave the body low on them. Taking TMG along with NAD boosters is a way of balancing out our methyls and preventing the mood problems that can occur when they become depleted.
- Sirtuin gene activators. Sirtuin activators are usually taken with NAD boosters. Popular ones include resveratrol, pterostilbene, quercetin, olive oil and avodado oil. A sirtuin activator that ‘ve been taking recently (and like a lot) is a type of fucoidan (from seaweed) called SIRT6 Activator. I also take a black elderberry syrup along with it. I take resveratrol in the afternoons, and take DNA’s SIRT6 Activator in the mornings (along with Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup). If I had to choose just one sirtuin activator, it would be SIRT6. Note: Eating a bunch of seaweed every day would be an alternative way of getting fucoidan.
- AKG boosters. AKG is available as a supplement, but it’s often combined with mineral and amino salts, creating a range of choices. AAKG (a salt of arginine) is popular, but Ca-AKG (a salt of calcium) has more research to support its anti-aging benefits.
- Sex hormone boosters for men. Guys wanting to boost their testosterone and libido, build muscle and perform more like young men sexually might want to take supplements such as fish oil, ashwagandha, boron, Gaia Male Libido, and BioGaia Osfortis (L. reuteri 6475) – all of which have been shown to increase testosterone. Fish oil and L. Reuteri 6475 also increase the size of testicles in lab animals, giving the animals experiencing this more social dominance. If I had to choose just one, it would be a difficult choice, but I’d probably go with Gaia Male Libido.
- Sex hormone boosters for women. Women wanting to boost their sex hormones might also want to look at ashwagandha and a product called Gaia Female Balance.
- Brain Health Boosters – such as hyaluronic acid (which smooths the skin and prevents brain shrinkage as we age), collagen, vitamin C, magnesium threonate, and low-dose lithium. I take them all. The most important, I think, is the hyaluronic acid. I take 300 mg every morning.
- HGH Boosters – You might try taking creatine, beta alanine, L. citrulline, and/or melatonin (and optimizing your sleep). Again – a tough choice! Supplements which contain both creatine and HMB might be good to start with.
- Other TRIIM Trial Supplements – In the first TRIIM trial, participants raised their hGH levels with shots, and also took zinc, vitamin D, DHEA and metformin. (Some are substituting berberine)
- Glutathione Boosters – An amino acid called glycine, when taken with NAC (N, Acetyl Cysteine) raises glutathione. So does taking whey powder. I’ll often take NAC and glycine at night because they also tend to promote deeper and more restful sleep. Note: Many glutathione boosters also increase levels of nitric oxide.
- Blood Health Supplements – Serrapeptase removes protein fragments from the blood. Borage oil is a good source of GLA, which is associated with the creation of new blood stem cells.
- Blood Glucose Supplements. Many people have high blood glucose, which predisposes them toward early aging and some other problems. Fortunately there are many nutritional supplements and other compounds that lower blood glucose. Many of these also activate AMPK and lower mTOR. Examples include berberine, Ceylon cinnamon, benfotiamine, allulose, and the prescription medication called metformin. Some studies suggest that berberine actually may have an advantage over metformin in having fewer side effects, but have the problem of being less absorbable. Unlike metformin, it does not require a prescription.
- Supplements for telomere health. Astragalus and ashwagandha have both been proven to lengthen telomeres (the end-caps on our DNA, which have a tendency to grow shorter as we age). I’ve found that the quality of both supplements can differ greatly. Some do nothing for me; others give me a noticeable energy boost. I’m currently buying both ashwagandha and astragalus from Gaia Herbs.
- Night-time supplements As needed to promote sleep and/or clearer breathing. I used to take melatonin at night but have stopped for the moment. But some people find that it promotes better sleep. I’m currently taking NAC (with glycine) and serrapeptase at night for clear airways.
Choose a Good Company
- Supplements are unregulated in the United States. A recent study found that many of the companies selling NMN supplements on Amazon were actually selling capsules that contained little or no NMN. Look for companies that can produce valid certificates of analysis. (Note that even certificates of analysis can be faked.)
- The companies I buy most of my supplements from are Jarrow; DoNotAge; Gaia Herbs, Life Extension; and BioGaia. I’m not saying they’re the only good companies, but they’re the ones I feel most comfortable buying from.