While the fountain of youth has yet to be packaged in a pill, there is compelling evidence to add supplements to your daily regimen. "Taking supplements contributes to total health at the cellular level, keeping your metabolism, hormones, and vital organs in tip-top shape," says Florence Comite, M.D., founder of New York's Comite Center for Precision Medicine. Here, five options for you to consider and discuss with your doctor.
If a toned body is top of your wish list, L-arginine may be for you. It's an amino acid known for its effects on the pituitary gland, which releases growth hormone (GH). "GH supports your metabolism and the body's ability to burn fat while increasing lean muscle tone," Comite says. L-arginine also improves blood circulation. Start by taking two grams daily, Comite says, and gradually build up to six grams.
"Astragalus has been shown to elongate telomeres, the fragile ends of your DNA that shorten as you age," says Michale Barber, M.D., chief medical officer of Better Life Carolinas in Charleston, South Carolina. Longer telomeres are associated with improved longevity, cardiovascular health, cognition, and immune functioning. Take 25 to 50 milligrams daily. Look for astragalosides, compounds extracted from the astragalus herb.
Naturally occurring antioxidants in chocolate called cocoa flavanols may be a powerful ally for your brain and heart. One study from Nature Neuroscience showed that flavanols act directly on the brain to reduce age-related cognitive decline. Regular cocoa flavanol consumption also has positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity, according to a study from the Journal of Nutrition. Alas, you need more than you can get in a bar of dark chocolate, says Comite, so try a daily supplement with 1,000 milligrams.
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a potent antioxidant that helps mitochondria (which Barber calls your cells' "battery packs") stay charged, giving you energy and fueling your daily functions. CoQ10 also aids in repairing telomeres and helps your heart—which is loaded with mitochondria—function at optimal levels. Your skin will also likely benefit; expect an improvement in wrinkles and firmness. Pop 200 milligrams per day, Barber says.
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is one of the most powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, says Comite: "It's especially effective at supporting healthy longevity by protecting the brain." Studies show that turmeric may improve memory and aid skin health, especially in people who have acne and psoriasis. To begin, Comite suggests taking one gram a day.