Anti Aging diet, food, herbs, vitamins and supplements, do they work?
May 16 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

I believe that we have some control over the aging process, but not complete. Unfortunately one of the most important anti-aging influences is genetics, something we cannot influence with our present scientific knowledge (but perhaps in the future). People who have parents and grandparents who live long are more likely to also live a long life. However, this does not mean we throw our hands in the air and just attribute our aging process to chance or genetics. There are many anti aging steps we can take, and i have listed some practical antiaging health suggestions for you to follow if you wish.

Anti aging supplement, where is the proof?
There is currently no proof that supplements and hormones (such as human growth hormone) have anti-aging benefits since it would take several decades of human studies to show such proof. However, it does make sense that some people would benefit from the intelligent use of certain supplements in small or reasonable dosages. It seems reasonably safe to take small amounts of certain natural supplements that have shown in preliminary research to be helpful. However, high doses of certain supplements and hormones could be counterproductive and perhaps accelerate the aging process.

Antiaging supplements that may have some benefit is used in low dosages
Acetyl l-carnitine nutrient and lipoic Acid are interesting supplements that may be beneficial for anti aging purposes, more research is needed before making recommendations. If you plan to take them on a long term basis, use low doses such as a fraction of a capsule. My thought would be less than 100 mg of acetyl-l carnitine and less than 20 mg of R lipoic acid. High doses of these supplements may be counterproductive.
Carnosine appears to be able to extend the lifespan of cultured cells, and rejuvenate senescent cells. A dose of 50 to 100 mg a few times a week seems appropriate. 
     Maturitas. 2016. Carnosine and the processes of ageing. It has been suggested that the endogenous dipeptide carnosine, also available as a food supplement, possesses anti-ageing activity and may achieve its reported age-alleviating effects via a number of mechanisms. Carnosine's possible anti-aging mechanisms are therefore discussed; the evidence suggests that inhibition of the mechanistic target of rapamycin and carbonyl scavenging may be involved.
Fish oils which include omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA or DHA. Or just consume more cold water fish. Higher omega-3 blood levels are associated with lower total mortality, especially coronary heart disease.

Resveratrol from red wine has potential as has been promoted in the news as a breakthrough natural anti aging supplement. Human trials are lacking, therefore it is anybody's guess what a reasonable dose would be. .
Royal Jelly has been studied in rodents as an anti aging natural supplement.
Melatonin is an interesting over the counter hormone that may play a role.
   Int J Mol Sci. 2014. Melatonin regulates aging and neurodegeneration through energy metabolism, epigenetics, autophagy and circadian rhythm pathways. Brain aging is linked to certain types of neurodegenerative diseases and identifying new therapeutic targets has become critical. Melatonin, a pineal hormone, associates with molecules and signaling pathways that sense and influence energy metabolism, autophagy, and circadian rhythms, including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), Forkhead box O (FoxOs), sirtuins and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways. This review summarizes the current understanding of how melatonin, together with molecular, cellular and systemic energy metabolisms, regulates epigenetic processes in the neurons. This information will lead to a greater understanding of molecular epigenetic aging of the brain and anti-aging mechanisms to increase lifespan under healthy conditions.

Keep in mind that sometimes when you take too many supplements, you could get overstimulated and have insomnia which would be pro aging. Never take supplements or combinations of supplements that lead you to have difficulty sleeping and getting a deep rest. For a comprehensive daily supplement, consider MultiVit Rx.

I'm writing a story for a magazine online on "5 Anti-Aging Supplements That Might Really Work" and hoping you're available to be interviewed for the article. The lineup from the editors features: Resveratrol Alpha-lipoic acid and L-carnitine Turmeric Blueberry extract. Multivitamins. Is this a solid lineup, or would you recommend something else? How do you separate truth from hype when purchasing an anti-aging supplement? What should a real one do? How are these products tested to show they slow the aging process? How well do tests on mice and animals correspond to humans? I might also have specific questions about individual supplements as I go. Feel free to write back your answers -- which is easier for me this week. Thank you in advance for your help.
    As of 2014, I have not come across any long term studies regarding the anti-aging benefits of these supplements and, even if they are effective, what the ideal dosage would be. He does not rely on animal studies since humans may respond differently and it is difficult to know whether the dosage used by weight in an animal would be appropriate for humans. Plus, many people are often taking additional supplements, have different diets, different sleep patterns, different activity levels, live in different latitudes and regions, etc. Therefore it is not easy to predict whether these supplements will help people live longer although many of them have shown promising results in laboratory and animal studies.

Age (Dordr). Dec 28 2013. Lifespan effects of simple and complex nutraceutical combinations fed isocalorically to mice. Present data suggest that the consumption of individual dietary supplements does not enhance the health or longevity of healthy rodents or humans. It might be argued that more complex combinations of such agents might extend lifespan or health-span by more closely mimicking the complexity of micronutrients in fruits and vegetables, which appear to extend health-span and longevity. To test this hypothesis we treated long-lived, male, F1 mice with published and commercial combinations of dietary supplements and natural product extracts, and determined their effects on lifespan and health-span. Nutraceutical, vitamin or mineral combinations reported to extend the lifespan or health-span of healthy or enfeebled rodents were tested, as were combinations of botanicals and nutraceuticals implicated in enhanced longevity by a longitudinal study of human aging. A cross-section of commercial nutraceutical combinations sold as potential health enhancers also were tested, including Bone Restore®, Juvenon®, Life Extension Mix®, Ortho Core®, Ortho Mind®, Super K w k2®, and Ultra K2®. A more complex mixture of vitamins, minerals, botanical extracts and other nutraceuticals was compounded and tested. No significant increase in murine lifespan was found for any supplement mixture. Our diverse supplement mixture significantly decreased lifespan. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis that simple or complex combinations of nutraceuticals, including antioxidants, are effective in delaying the onset or progress of the major causes of death in mice. The results are consistent with epidemiological studies suggesting that dietary supplements are not beneficial and even may be harmful for otherwise healthy individuals.

Anti aging health suggestions
1. Have a positive attitude and improve your coping skills to daily stresses. Embrace the philosophy that "It's not what happens to me, it's what I make of it."

2. Keep a healthy weight and reduce the number of calories consumed, but not to the point of starving. Caloric restriction diet has anti aging potential in animals, but less is known in humans.
An antiaging diet has mostly a high amount of vegetables and herbs, and a good balance of fruits, fish, grains, legumes, and smaller amounts of meats and dairy.

3. Reduce consumption of foods cooked at high temperature such as baked goods. By relying more on steaming, boiling and stewing to cook foods and using acidic marinades on meat cooked with dry heat, people may be able to stay healthier. These strategies will reduce the amount of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), or glycotoxins that people consume with their food. The more AGEs healthy people eat, the greater their levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.

4. Regular exercise and keep physically active.
Regular stretching or yoga is helpful in keeping joints and ligaments supple. Almost any amount and type of physical activity may slow aging deep in our cells, and middle age is a critical time to get the process rolling.

5. Avoid smoking cigarettes.
Smokers die ten years younger on average than non-smokers

6. Have strong connections to others, whether through family and relatives, marriage, children, pets, or connecting with nature, planet earth, and the universe. Try to stay on good terms with people, whenever possible. A troubled marriage may speed the decline in health that comes with age.

7. Get a deep sleep. Nighttime noise pollution -- in particular the noise of traffic -- in urban areas puts city residents at risk for disrupted sleep and this could lead to serious health consequences, including increased risk for heart attack and high blood pressure. You may occasionally use
Good-Night-Rx for a deeper sleep.

8. Keep your mind young and active by learning. Once in a while a mind enhancement supplement could be helpful. One such product is

9. Try to surround yourself with nature. Green trees in the neighborhood, sunshine in the home, are linked to longevity.

10. Limit coffee intake to one or two cups - chronic coffee consumption has a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and wave reflections, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular or heart disease.

11. Have loving and caring friends. Research suggests that having a strong network of friends helps people live longer.

12. Take care of your teeth and mouth to prevent gum disease.

13. Work as long as you can. It is widely held that early retirement is associated with lower life expectancy.

Anti-Aging skin care products
Consider retinoic acid cream and alpha lipoic acid cream

What is in Strivectin? Can you give any recommendations for a facial anti-aging cream made from natural ingredients?
   I am not familiar with Strivectin. Anti-aging creams is not a topic I have looked into in any great detail.

Exercise and Caloric Restriction
While exercise helps ward off chronic ailments such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that can shorten a normal lifespan, only cutting calories appears to slow down the primary aging process. Investigators at Washington University in St. Louis have found that eating a low-calorie, nutritionally balanced diet lowers concentrations of a thyroid hormone known as T3, which controls body temperature, cell metabolism, and it appears the production of free radicals - all of which are important aspects of aging and longevity. Calorie-restriction also decreases levels of the inflammatory protein tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.

Antiaging medicine
There are a lot of doctors out there practicing antiaging medicine who really don't know what they are doing. They prescribe high doses of hormones which could actually shorten lifespan. Much of anti-aging medicine, or as it is more often called in recent years "age-management" medicine, relies on dietary supplements, nutrition counseling and exercise programs. But a portion of patients also get blood tests that detect supposedly low levels of a marker for human growth hormone. Those patients often go home with a prescription for injectable HGH and a $2000 monthly bill for the hormone, blood tests, and other supplements that insurance does not cover. Human growth hormone is produced naturally by the pituitary gland and contributes to normal growth in children. In studies, HGH has been shown to increase muscle mass and reduce fat in men and women, with notable side effects, including elevated blood sugar. A pharmaceutical version is approved for treating children who fail to grow for various reasons, for AIDS patients with muscle wasting syndrome and for adults with legitimate growth hormone deficiency caused, for example, by surgery or radiation. Other uses are illegal, including to turn back the clock on aging. The FDA says it is investigating violations of the law — the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as amended in 1988 and 1990 — and has sent warning letters to companies selling HGH over the Internet for other uses.

Q. What is your opinion of doctors who are certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine?
   A. I personally don't put too much credence in the certification process of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. I know a few doctors who are certified by this organization, and having discussed certain hormonal topics with them, I am left disappointed. These Anti-Aging Medicine doctors generally seem to prescribe high doses of hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone, testosterone, and HGH, and don't seem to have a good understanding of the potential side effects of these hormones, which, in many cases, when used in high amounts, may actually shorten lifespan. How can there be adequate certification in a field that has so much controversy and where the research is so preliminary and open to interpretation?

Q. Is 50 years of age too early to start taking vinpocetine and ginkgo biloba together as an anti-aging supplement?
   A. There is no evidence that taking supplements will lead to antiaging benefit. It is possible that high doses of certain supplements could actually be harmful. Therefore, supplements should be mostly taken for the benefit they provide in terms of mood, energy, wellbeing, mental enhancement, sexual enhancement or the treatment of certain medical conditions as opposed to mostly focusing on the hope that they may have anti-aging potential.

Q. I have been intrigued by anti-oxidant research since my graduate schools days. I recall sitting tired in a exercise physiology seminar when the professor talked of antioxidant research at UCSD saying "the results are inconclusive but this is what folks on the research team are taking." I since went on to read research by Dr. Kenneth Cooper and others. Now I have a friend who's telling me about a Dr. Seidman and a company called Visalus (they're an MLM company and are making some pretty big claims about patented formulas that are superior). I hate the word " anti-aging " but my research tells me antioxidants may be helpful in combating free radical damage: especially for an endurance athlete (masters swimmer now). Could you provide me with insight or places to seek the latest research on how to determine proper antioxidant supplementation.
   A. Long term human research with antioxidants and anti-aging is not available, hence it is anyone's guess at this time whether taking antioxidant supplements extend lifespan. There is a chance that they they will, however we have little idea which ones to take, in what combination, and in what dosages. If you choose to take antioxidant supplements for antiaging purposes, take small amounts, use a variety or alternate different ones, and keep in mind that more is not necessarily better. These are general guidelines but the limited research does not allow us to be more specific at this time. Do get most of your antioxidants from foods such as fresh produce and herbs.

Q. My boyfriend is on 30mg pregnenolone a day. He is encouraging me to try it. I work out, eat right, take Juice Plus vitamins and drink plenty of water. I don't smoke or drink. I am not overweight. I don't have any of the aging effects yet - wrinkles, grey hair. He says it will fight off aging effects.
   A. There is no research that says taking pregnenolone has anti-aging benefits. It is quite possible that a high dose use could be counterproductive. Science still has not determined whether small amounts, such as 1 or 2 mg, have anti-aging benefits.

While research natural supplements for possible hair recoloration, I have come across a few natural supplements that have claimed to do just that. I know your recommendations on PABA are neutral, although others have indicated a strong possibility. However I have also come across a few other natural supplements which claim to also do it, in addition to a number of other benefits of their use. Would you comment on GH3, DMAE, Reminex, Melancor, and PABA not only as a potential hair color restoration, but for the claimed life extension capabilities or anti aging qualities.
    I am not aware of long term human studies with these supplements and pills in terms of their anti aging benefits. As far as hair coloration, I am not impressed by PABA and DMAE and have not studied the role of GH3, Reminex, or Melancor.