by Nils Osmar. May 26, 2022
Whether it’s because of having low incomes or because of having made the choice to spend their money on other things, many people simply can’t afford some of the more popular anti-aging supplements.
I would personally like to see all approaches to building optimal health, including access to medicine, access to supplements, and access to high quality food, made more affordable. Till that happens, here’s a list of things we can do that might (possibly) increase the human lifespan but cost little or nothing. Can you think of things to add to it? If so, feel free to list them below.
- Optimizing sleep. Sleep helps us recover from stress and increases our hGH levels in a healthy way – and it’s free. Some studies suggest that just going to bed around 10 pm instead of midnight can more than triple our hGH levels.
- Exercising – in particular, doing HIIT exercise and resistance training. Almost every form of exercise, if done safely, has anti-aging benefits. (It may not be life-extending, but it’s unquestionably anti-aging.) HIIT exercise increases NAD and activate the sirtuin genes. You don’t need to join a gym and don’t need fancy equipment to do it; running around the block a few times, alternating running fast and walking, has profound health benefits. Resistance training also increases NAD, and helps build muscle, which is essential to keep ourselves from ending up stuck in nursing homes. Skip the gym membership and buy an inexpensive weight bench and some used weights and you’ll have all the equipment you need. (You can actually life anything that has weight to do resistance training; there are some great Youtube videos about how to exercise without investing hundreds or thousands into equipment.) See studies: Exercise and Sirtuins: A Way to Mitochondrial Health in Skeletal Muscle and Resistance training increases muscle NAD + and NADH concentrations.
- Fasting. (Actually saves you money, because you spend less on food.) Note: I’m not suggesting that you spend your last remaining dollars on supplements while skipping the nutrition you need! If you’re low on food, you should of course buy food, not supplements! Getting adequate nutrition to keep our bodies healthy is one of the key foundations of health. Rather I’m pointing out that fasting itself is a totally free anti-aging intervention. In my own case, I’m currently fasting two days a week. I don’t do so to save money, and I’m not depriving myself. I do so because fasting, an easy method of caloric restriction, promotes autophagy (which cleans debris out of our cells), activates AMPK (the longevity pathway), increases our hGH levels, increases testosterone, and activates the sirtuin (survival) genes. I don’t fast “because” it saves me money on food, but the fact that I’m saving about $30 a week on food turned out to be an unexpected bonus once I started doing regular fasting. See study: Fasting promotes the expression of SIRT1, an NAD+ -dependent protein deacetylase
- Drinking tea and coffee –– and brewing your own. I mention coffee because it’s a readily available, plant-based drink which is associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality. It’s not “free” but it’s inexpensive. I used to have the coffee shop habit; but I realized a few years ago I was spending enough on “premium pre-made coffee” (which was not always really very good) to pay for literally all of the supplements I was taking. I bought a French press and started making my own, and freed up around $1500 a year by doing so. See article: Coffee consumption and all-cause and cause-specific mortality (Note: green tea and white tea are both rich in EGCG, a rapalog (analog) of rapamycin, associated with activating AMPK and suppressing mTOR, keeping us on the longevity pathway. Rapamycin is expensive and hard to obtain; green tea and white tea are affordable and easily available See article: Towards natural mimetics of metformin and rapamycin
- Eating foods that have anti-aging properties which are similar to supplements. For example, if you like fish, you might think about eating sardines instead of buying fish oil. (Sardines are rich in fish oil, and also rich in CoQ10, RNA, DNA, and very high quality protein.) Sulforaphane, which is anti-cancer and activates the sirtuins, is expensive; but you can make your own broccoli sprouts, which are rich in it, for pennies a day. Natto is inexpensive –– less than a dollar per container in some stores –– and has a day’s supply of PQQ in a serving, and is also a rich source of spermidine. We have to eat something – why not choose foods that promote longevity, instead of random foods? This of course also means avoiding sugar and processed foods. Heavily processed foods are expensive and detrimental to both health and longevity. They also cost several times as much, per gram of protein, as natural unprocessed foods.
- Taking hot baths and cold showers. Hot baths provide at least some of the health benefits of saunas, and cold showers (or contrast showers) activate the sirtuin genes and increase NAD+ levels. See article.
- Taking walks in nature (or in a nearby park) (Reduces stress).
- If you live in an area with bad air quality, buy an air purifier. They’re not free but are much more affordable than they used to be.
- When you do buy supplements, make sure they’re from a company with a good reputation, and spend some time first calculating the actual price per gram. As an example, I’ve known people who bought “cheap” NMN for “only $30” on Amazon, but it turned out they were paying over $15 a gram for it! And there was evidence it wasn’t even real NMN. But bulk powdered NMN is close to $1 a gram. (DoNotAge has the best price on bulk NMN of any company I know, particularly when using the discount code (PATHWAYS in all caps). I realized years ago that loose, powdered NMN is much cheaper than the kind that comes pre-packed in capsules and almost never buy capsules anymore.
- Cycle supplements. If your cash is low but you’d like to try a supplement, you might want to consider taking it every other day, or taking it for a week or month, then taking the next week or month off. Doing so also gives us a way of gauging whether we notice any tangible effect from taking it. One supplement this works well for is BioGaia’s L. Reuteri 6475, which is pricey but till colonize the gut if you take it for a month. But you can utilize this information by taking it for 30 days; then taking 30 days off; then restarting it. (Also with L. Reuteri, you might try making your own yogurt from it, which would make a bottle last for a year; there are some good recipes for doing so online.)
- Timing your supplements thoughtfully. For example, according to Tom Weldon, CEO of Ponce de Leon, if you take AKG along with other supplements, it may not be useful. I take it Ca-AKG in the mornings; wait an hour for it to pass through my digestive system; then take other supplements.
- Make a budget. This may be obvious, but it can help to figure out in advance what you can, or want to, spend on supplements, check to verify that you really can do so, then cut other expenses if needed. As an example, I have a friend who calculated that he saved over $2,000 a year by stopping the “eating out at restaurants” habit. This gave him more than enough $$s for supplements. He also saved a bundle by stopping his Starbucks coffee habit. I’m not saying these particular solutions are right for everyone, but that, since supplements do cost money, it makes sense to try to fit them into our overall budget.
“Cheap” supplements are often the most expensive
I would not recommend buying cheap, off-brand supplements. Even if they contain genuine ingredients, which is often questionable, the price of “cheap” brands can be astronomically higher per gram.
One company, for example, sells “bargain” NMN that has only 100 mg per capsule. They sell it at the “cheap” price of about $30 for 3o capsules. This sounds great until you realize that it would take 10 capsules to take the amount most people take daily, i.e., 1 gram… meaning you would only get three days of NMN for your $30, making it really cost $10 a gram, or $10 a day!
The NMN I buy costs $1 a gram or about $1 a day (see below) if you buy it as a bulk powder in the $100 gram bag, using the discount code.
One company I like
For those who do take supplements, one company I personally like is DoNotAge. They are currently a sponsor of my Youtube channel. Their supplements are not cheap, but they are of high quality. Their NMN is the best price I’ve found (per gram) (for the bulk/powdered NMN). If you buy it, you can get an additional 10 percent off by using the discount code PATHWAYS.