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Anti-Aging Supplement

Is There Such A Thing As An Anti-Aging Supplement?


One of the most common claims for nutritional supplements lately is that they fight the damages of aging. And why not?  Today’s so-called ‘seniors’ are vital adults leading active, interesting lives.  They take nutritional supplements to help maintain their health, and keep them in optimal shape for the challenges of their busy lifestyles.  It’s not surprising that the claim to be an anti-aging supplement is a good selling point for nutritional and health supplements..


If the idea of taking an anti-aging supplement to help you stay young seems a bit like magic or voodoo, you should know that there’s a great deal of research to support the role of good nutrition in preventing and sometimes even reversing the damages to your body caused by time, pollution and stress.  Most of the ingredients that contribute to the effectiveness of an anti-aging supplements are ‘antioxidants’ – vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help your body deal with damage caused by ‘free radicals’.


What Causes Aging?

The obvious answer to that question is ‘the passage of time’, but there’s more to it than that.  Your body is constantly metabolizing food for energy, and in the process, creating by-products called ‘free radicals’.  It’s easiest to think of them as magnets that are released when certain substances are exposed to oxygen in your bloodstream.  Once released, they roam free in your body, trying to either attach themselves to another cell, or to attract another cell to themselves.


In the process of trying to reattach themselves, they damage other cells in your body.  Researchers from around the world have come to accept that this damage by free radicals is the main cause of many of the ‘symptoms’ of aging – symptoms like wrinkles, age spots, thinning hair, dimming eyesight and reduced memory.  Oxidative stress is also believed to be a factor in many diseases related to aging, as well as the culprit that rusts iron and turns fruit brown.


An anti-aging supplement is formulated with substances called ‘antioxidants’, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help combat the process of oxidation and prevent some of the damage done by free radicals.


What Antioxidants Do

Antioxidants prevent or lessen damage done to cells by free radicals.  They do this in one of two ways – both of them involving attracting those free radicals to themselves and transporting them out of the body.  In the process, the antioxidants become oxidized themselves – which means that our bodies need to constantly replenish the supply of antioxidants in our bodies.


Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Scientists and researchers have a lot of evidence that antioxidants like Vitamin C and E, Coenzyme Q10 and many other enzymes and nutrients help prevent damage from disease and oxidative stress.  There’s also, however, a great deal of research that suggests that there’s a lot about how antioxidants work that we don’t yet understand.  To date, very few studies have proved the effectiveness of megadoses of any one antioxidant – and at least one was stopped early when the results suggested an INCREASE in damage rather than the expected decrease.


Another study on Vitamin E bear out the possibility that there’s sometimes too much of a good thing.  In that study, presented in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1997, patients receiving 60 mg of Vitamin E daily showed signs of an improved immune system.  At 200 mg daily, participants showed a 4-6 fold improvement in the markers of an improved immune system.  Those receiving 800 mgs, though, actually showed a worsening in those markers.


Because of that study, and others that suggest we’re a long way from understanding how antioxidants work, both the FDA and the American Medical Association don’t encourage the use of megadoses of antioxidants to prevent aging and combat disease.


Should You Take An Anti-aging Supplement?

What research has shown is that the most potent defense against aging is a healthy diet that’s nutritionally balanced.  A varied diet that contains a wide range of fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats should provide all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.


Unfortunately, even the FDA admits that most Americans don’t eat a healthy diet – and the challenge of getting all the nutrition your body can use from food alone grows steeper as our bodies age.  Because our bodies become less efficient at producing certain enzymes and using particular nutrients as we grow older, many doctors recommend that adults over the age of 50 include a well-balanced multi-vitamin or health supplement in their daily routine.


While not a substitute for a healthy diet, a totally balanced nutritional supplement can help fill in the holes that might be missing in your dietary intake on a daily basis.  It contains all the antioxidants you’ll find in a so-called ‘anti-aging supplement’ – but in dosages that are proven safe.  By choosing a nutritional supplement that is formulated to provide a synergistically balanced complex of the vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals and enzymes that your body needs, you’ll be providing it with the most potent anti-aging supplement of all – a healthy diet backed by proven supplementation to keep your body on track and healthy.



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