Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan and Physician Luke Yau Wai
10 Anti-Aging Supplements Worth Taking Daily
Published | 8 min read
Getting older can have some implications on your health. These anti-aging supplements can slow down multiple age-related changes and improve your overall skin health.
Men and women age differently. A woman’s body changes dramatically with menopause while a man’s body changes more gradually. Fortunately, healthy lifestyle habits, which include regular exercise, consumption of a balanced diet, and anti-aging supplements, can help slow down your biological clock.
The Theory of Aging in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The tenets in TCM believe that the main reason for aging in females is the decline in yin (passive energy) and yang (active energy) whereas, for males, it is due to the deficiency of kidney qi (the circulating life force). While men have a shorter life expectancy, women are at a higher risk of chronic physical and psychiatric diseases.
“According to Huangdi Neijing (an ancient Chinese medicine text), when a female reaches 42 years old, the three yang meridians begin to decline from the head – the face becomes completely dry and dull, and the hair starts to turn white. Hence, females should start an anti-aging regime or treatment from 40,” explains Eu Yan Sang TCM physician Luke Yau Wai.
“For males, signs of aging will become noticeable due to the deficiency in kidney qi and exhaustion in yang qi, such as growing grey hair at the temples. It is also advisable for males to start anti-aging care at the age of 40,” he notes, adding that old age can also impair a man’s sperm quantity and quality through adverse effects on hormone production, sperm development, and testes changes.
Women, on the other hand, will experience menopause and several changes in the reproductive system. With menopause, a woman’s menstrual periods stop, and she will no longer be able to become pregnant. She will also experience other physical changes like vaginal dryness and irritation and a higher risk of vaginal yeast infections.
The main benefits of anti-aging supplements include better longevity and a reduced risk of developing a chronic disease. It is important to note that individuals should take these supplements according to the guidelines stipulated on each product label.
Ingredients in Anti-Aging Supplements
When you’re searching for these supplements, be on the lookout for these essential ingredients. If you’re already taking supplements, talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects and the possibilities of interactions between two or more supplements before you use them together.
Avocadoes are an abundant source of essential nutrients. These include carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which provide an array of anti-aging benefits.
For example, they can reduce a person’s risk of cartilage defects, an early indicator of osteoarthritis – a disease marked by progressive joint deterioration. They can also protect the skin from UV and radiation damage and improve a person’s eye health.
Avocadoes also contain phytochemicals like phenolics and phytosterols, which can help prevent cardiovascular diseases, enhance blood flow, and improve blood vessel health.
2. Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Evening primrose is a plant native to North and South America and grows prominently in Europe and certain parts of Asia. Many herbalists use seed extracts to make evening primrose oil. It is a healthy source of omega 6 fatty acids which is known as GLA (gamma linolenic acid), and many consume it in capsule form to treat a wide range of physical and psychological problems.
It is also a practical addition to women’s health supplements for managing the symptoms of menopause. Common symptoms include hot flashes, mood shifts, and depression.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a polyphenolic compound known for its many anti-aging benefits. Curcumin also boasts other medicinal characteristics, such as anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activities.
Curcumin can lower the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The therapeutic impact of curcumin also extends to preventing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and increasing a person’s lifespan.
Aside from turmeric, Aomori Japanese black garlic is also rich in polyphenols and superoxide dismutase. These two organic compounds work to reduce aging effects and maintain heart as well as digestive health.
Collagen is essential for improving the efficiency of DNA repair, which is necessary for lowering a person’s risk of age-related diseases such as neurodegeneration and encouraging a better lifespan.
It is also beneficial for delaying skin aging by reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity, laxity and hydration.
5. Royal Jelly
A neutral-natured substance royal jelly consists of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, water, and mineral salts. TCM uses it as a tonic to strengthen spleen qi, regulate blood circulation, and clear heat. It is also believed for relieving the symptoms of menopause such as backache, hot flashes.
It is also beneficial for protecting brain cells against degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and preventing senescence, deterioration of human tissues that occur with age.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E, which is essential for preventing cell damage due to oxidative stress. The brain is susceptible to higher levels of oxidative stress during aging, putting a person at an increased risk of a neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease.
TCM considers nuts especially good in reinforcing the kidneys (terms for reproductive, and urinary systems). Nuts promote brain health, sharp thinking and generally build up health.
Many recommend the consumption of almonds, peanuts, or sunflower seeds, or a vitamin E supplement to protect cells from free radical damage, maintain healthy cholesterol, prevent cardiovascular disease, and support blood vessel health.
7. Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum)
As an anti-aging supplement, Lingzhi boasts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, and immunomodulatory properties, which help lower a person’s risk of chronic disease.
In TCM, Lingzhi mushrooms have tonic effects for qi deficiency, because they replenish qi and blood.
Lingzhi can also help prevent skin aging due to prolonged UV exposure and treat non-healing wounds by promoting better wound regeneration. You can take a herbal supplement that contains the pollen extracted from Lingzhi mushrooms with warm water before meals. This regulates the immune system and replenishes your blood and qi. You can also use it to treat coughs or relieve asthma.
8. Gotu Kola
Gotu kola, also known as Centella Asiatica (Cica), is a prominent herb in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and possesses antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressive properties.
In TCM, Gotu kola is a herb that can clear heat and relieve toxicity.
This combination of medicinal characteristics can help to protect a person’s brain from neurodegenerative problems like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. It can also promote neuron regeneration and prevent neuron damage. You can find this dietary supplement in capsules or liquid format.
Fenugreek is a spice mostly used to enhance the taste of foods. It possesses many medicinal qualities used in traditional medicine. For example, using a fenugreek supplement can alleviate the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and pain in the leg muscles.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in ingredients that keep your skin free from spotless, and wrinkles. They also kill free radicals that cause fine lines and dark spots on the skin.
In TCM, fenugreek seed is used to help people who have too much ‘Cold’ in their body or yang deficiency.
It is also effective for regulating a woman’s hormones, which can improve vaginal dryness and mood.
You can try taking a health supplement that contains fenugreek extract to improve menopausal symptoms or your general well-being.
10. Wild Yam
The anti-inflammatory properties of wild yam (also known as Chinese yam) make it suitable for treating aged skin. Wild yam has also demonstrated anti-collagenase activity, suggesting a possible use in anti-aging supplements and fighting skin degenerative syndromes. In TCM, wild yam boosts immunity, improves respiratory functions, and strengthens the digestive system. This medicinal plant can potentially treat qi deficiency.
Wild yam also contains a chemical called “diosgenin” that is many TCM physicians promote as an estrogen replacement therapy for treating symptoms of menopause.
Although diet, lifestyle factors, and general health conditions have a major impact on your longevity, there are a number of anti-aging supplements containing these ingredients that can help slow down the process of becoming older. Consult your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are pregnant or have specific health concerns.
- Frontiers in Medicine. 2019. Health and Well-Being in Late Life: Gender Differences Worldwide. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2016. Effects of aging on the male reproductive system. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- MedlinePlus. 2021. Aging changes in the female reproductive system. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US Department of Health and Human Services. 2018. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Springer Link. 2018. Healthy aging: the natural consequences of good nutrition—a conference report. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2013. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2019. Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) Oil in Management of Female Ailments. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Harvard Health Publishing. 2020. Menopause and mental health. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- ScienceDirect. 2021. The role of curcumin in aging and senescence: Molecular mechanisms. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2020. Oral Collagen Drink for Antiaging: Antioxidation, Facilitation of the Increase of Collagen Synthesis, and Improvement of Protein Folding and DNA Repair in Human Skin Fibroblasts. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Wiley Online Library. 2021. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Microbiological Research. 2016. Royal Jelly: An ancient remedy with remarkable antibacterial properties. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2019. Effect of royal jelly on menopausal symptoms: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Harvard T.H. Chan. Vitamin E. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- ResearchGate. 2019. Health Benefits of Ganoderma lucidum as a Medicinal Mushroom. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- BMC. 2019. Advances in research on the active constituents and physiological effects of Ganoderma lucidum. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- ScienceDirect. 2018. Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) as a neuroprotectant and its potential role in healthy aging. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- ScienceDirect. 2020. Phytoestrogenic effect of fenugreek seed extract helps in ameliorating the leg pain and vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Hindawi. 2013. Skin Aging: Natural Weapons and Strategies. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2011. The Timing of the Age at Which Natural Menopause Occurs. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2018. Improving nutrition to support healthy ageing: what are the opportunities for intervention?. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- Oxford Academic. 2020. The Menopause Transition: Signs, Symptoms, and Management Options. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- MDPI. 2020. Royal Jelly as an Intelligent Anti-Aging Agent—A Focus on Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2017. Emerging Roles of Ganoderma Lucidum in Anti-Aging. [Accessed 24 October 2021]
Share this article on
Was This Article Useful to You?
Want more healthy tips?
Get All Things Health in your mailbox today!