There are several self-purported anti-aging or age-defying supplements and claims on the market.
Finding one or two that have been shown to be of benefit is rather difficult, as the studies that back them lack power (small number of participants), are not blinded or controlled, and are usually sponsored by supplement makers and companies.
Anti-aging experts and doctors in the field of longevity also find bias with different supplements, as their interests direct them.
This is a well-known fallacy of logic called confirmation bias. It would, however, be agreed that anyone who has dug into the literature with detail on potentially beneficial supplements to help the aging process would agree on two: N-Acetylcysteine and Resveratrol.
N-Acetylcysteine is well-known to doctors as the medication/supplement used in the ICU to treat acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdoses, as taking too much acetaminophen is very toxic and damaging to the liver.
N-Acetylcysteine provides the rate limiting step in the production of glutathione — arguably the most potent anti-oxidant in our bodies.
Oral glutathione has not been shown to work well, so increased production of it by the liver is the best way to increase this powerful antioxidant. As a large part of the aging process involves oxidative stress and free radicals, ensuring plenty of good antioxidants in your body is as age-defying as one can get!
Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in several plants, including grapes and berries. It is also one of the healthy components in red wine. It has been shown to mimic the age-defying properties of low-calorie eating. It has been known for years that the best longevity diet is one of low calories. It has also been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Inflammation is involved in almost every disease state and has disastrous effects on the brain and heart, and a strong role in the development of cancer. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about these supplements becoming part of your daily routine.
Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at http://drwilley.com.