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Ranking Biohack Longevity Supplements:

Modern Science and Ancient Ayurveda

Robert Keith Wallace, PhD

This article is adapted from 16 Super Biohacks for Longevity: Shortcuts to a Healthier, Happier, Longer Life.

Whether we call them anti-aging or longevity supplements, suddenly there are many more products than usual being highly recommended in order to live a longer and healthier life. The problem is that any comparative ranking is often done by the companies that sell them, which is not useful for an innocent consumer. One important questions we need to ask: Is this list being rated by someone who is making money from any of these products? If the answer is yes, then it is very hard to consider the rating as unbiased.

We will start with a list of well-known modern supplements that most experts agree are important. Second, we will also consider modern experimental supplements for longevity, which not everyone agrees with. Finally, we will list ancient Ayurveda longevity supplements that are time-tested and scientifically verified. We give a grade (A to D) for the quality of research done for animal studies and for human studies. We will also mention whether the price of the supplements is either reasonable or high. We welcome your comments.

Modern Longevity Supplements Commonly Used

#1 Vitamin B12

This is the most obvious and least controversial longevity supplement because every physiology needs it, and vegans and other vegetarian often don’t get enough. It is vital for cell health, and a lack of this vitamin can lead to serious consequences, such as pernicious anemia.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: A

Cost: Reasonable, but sometimes high

References

  • Green R, Allen LH, Bjørke-Monsen AL, Brito A, Guéant JL, Miller JW, Molloy AM, Nexo E, Stabler S, Toh BH, Ueland PM, Yajnik C. Vitamin B12 deficiency. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2017 Jun 29;3:17040. doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2017.40. Erratum in: Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2017 Jul 20;3:17054. PMID: 28660890.
  • Gana W, De Luca A, Debacq C, Poitau F, Poupin P, Aidoud A, Fougère B. Analysis of the Impact of Selected Vitamins Deficiencies on the Risk of Disability in Older People. Nutrients. 2021 Sep 10;13(9):3163. doi: 10.3390/nu13093163. PMID: 34579039; PMCID: PMC8469089.

# 2 Vitamin D

If you don’t go out in the sun, you may have a problem with Vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus for the maintenance of bones and teeth. It also helps with the functioning of the immune system and it is thought to play a beneficial role with certain physical and mental disorders. The form known as vitamin D3 is usually recommended, but D2 is also effective. The big question is the dose. When taking Vitamin D supplements, it is possible to take too much and elevate calcium levels so high that you create unwanted side-effects. Check with your health expert and be tested regularly.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: A

Cost: Reasonable, but sometimes high

References

  • Roth DE, Abrams SA, Aloia J, Bergeron G, Bourassa MW, Brown KH, Calvo MS, Cashman KD, Combs G, De-Regil LM, Jefferds ME, Jones KS, Kapner H, Martineau AR, Neufeld LM, Schleicher RL, Thacher TD, Whiting SJ. Global prevalence and disease burden of vitamin D deficiency: a roadmap for action in low- and middle-income countries. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2018 Oct;1430(1):44-79. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13968. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30225965; PMCID: PMC7309365.
  • Touvier M, Deschasaux M, Montourcy M, Sutton A, Charnaux N, Kesse-Guyot E, Assmann KE, Fezeu L, Latino-Martel P, Druesne-Pecollo N, Guinot C, Latreille J, Malvy D, Galan P, Hercberg S, Le Clerc S, Souberbielle JC, Ezzedine K. Determinants of vitamin D status in Caucasian adults: influence of sun exposure, dietary intake, sociodemographic, lifestyle, anthropometric, and genetic factors. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Feb;135(2):378-388. doi: 10.1038/jid.2014.400. Epub 2014 Sep 11. PMID: 25211176.

# 3 Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant with many important functions for healthy aging. Studies confirm, for example, that it reduces the severity and duration of a cold. Another study of elderly adults showed that those with higher blood levels of vitamin C performed better on mental tasks involving attention and memory.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: A

Cost: Reasonable, but occasional high

References

  • Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;2013(1):CD000980. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4. PMID: 23440782; PMCID: PMC8078152.
  • Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Infections. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 29;9(4):339. doi: 10.3390/nu9040339. PMID: 28353648; PMCID: PMC5409678.
  • Travica N, Ried K, Sali A, Hudson I, Scholey A, Pipingas A. Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Cognitive Function: A Cross-Sectional Study. Front Aging Neurosci. 2019 Apr 2;11:72. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00072. PMID: 31001107; PMCID: PMC6454201.
  • Pham-Huy LA, He H, Pham-Huy C. Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008 Jun;4(2):89-96. PMID: 23675073; PMCID: PMC3614697.
  • Kim MK, Sasazuki S, Sasaki S, Okubo S, Hayashi M, Tsugane S. Effect of five-year supplementation of vitamin C on serum vitamin C concentration and consumption of vegetables and fruits in middle-aged Japanese: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Jun;22(3):208-16. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2003.10719295. PMID: 12805247.

#4 Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral, acting as a cofactor for over 300 different enzymes, and plays a critical role in many important functions in the body. Zinc deficiency has been associated with both disease and aging.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: A

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Hou R, He Y, Yan G, Hou S, Xie Z, Liao C. Zinc enzymes in medicinal chemistry. Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Dec 15;226:113877. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113877. Epub 2021 Sep 30. PMID: 34624823.
  • Prasad, Ananda S.: “Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: Its Impact on Human Health and Disease”, March 6 2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649098/
  • Afzali A, Goli S, Moravveji A, Bagheri H, Mirhosseini S, Ebrahimi H. The effect of zinc supplementation on fatigue among elderly community dwellers: A parallel clinical trial. Health Sci Rep. 2021 May 19;4(2):e301. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.301. PMID: 34027128; PMCID: PMC8133867.

# 5 Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements

A good supplement which includes the recommended daily dose of vitamins and minerals is helpful to ensure better health and aging. We have covered some of the basic vitamins and minerals, but there are, of course, more.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: A

Cost: Reasonable, but sometimes quite high

References

  • Moyer VA, U. S. Preventive Services Task Force. Vitamin, mineral, and multivitamin supplements for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: U.S. Preventive services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(8):558–64. PMID: 24566474. 10.7326/M14-0198
  • Fairfield KM. Vitamin supplementation in disease prevention. Seres D, ed. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. http://www​.uptodate.com. Accessed December 7, 2018: 2020.
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health. Vitamins and Minerals. https://nccih​.nih.gov/health/vitamins. Accessed: July 31, 2020.

# 6 Antioxidants

Many vitamins such as Vitamin E, vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin C, are antioxidants. It may be that antioxidants help tissue damage, but the latest research shows that they do not actually extend life.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, ‎Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019
  • Macpherson H, Pipingas A, Pase MP. Multivitamin-multimineral supplementation and mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb;97(2):437-44. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.049304. Epub 2012 Dec 19. PMID: 23255568.
  • Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J, Schvartz M, Manson JE, Glynn RJ, Buring JE, Gaziano JM. Multivitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012 Nov 7;308(17):1751-60. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.14805. PMID: 23117775; PMCID: PMC3501249.
  • Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Gluud LL, Simonetti RG, Gluud C. Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2007 Feb 28;297(8):842-57. doi: 10.1001/jama.297.8.842. Erratum in: JAMA. 2008 Feb 20;299(7):765-6. PMID: 17327526.

# 7 Fiber

We don’t normally think of fiber as a supplement so including it may be going too far. Fiber, however, is definitely good for you and your microbiome and is often lacking in people’s diets. Vegetables,whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds are the best natural sources of fiber.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: A

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Park Y, Subar AF, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A. Dietary fiber intake and mortality in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Jun 27;171(12):1061-8. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.18. Epub 2011 Feb 14. PMID: 21321288; PMCID: PMC3513325.
  • Yang J, Wang HP, Zhou L, Xu CF. Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: a meta analysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec 28;18(48):7378-83. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i48.7378. PMID: 23326148; PMCID: PMC3544045.

#8 Probiotic

This is one of the most active areas of research and it is clear that for many people probiotics have helped in a number of different digestive disorders. They are a part of health traditions and there are currently a large number of clinical trials studying their effects on different disorders Do probiotics extend our lifespan? We still don’t know.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: B

Cost: Reasonable, but sometime high

References

  • Dale HF, Rasmussen SH, Asiller ÖÖ, Lied GA. Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 2;11(9):2048. doi: 10.3390/nu11092048. PMID: 31480656; PMCID: PMC6769995.

Modern Experimental Longevity Supplements

# 1 Metformin

Metformin is a common and often effective medication for type 2 diabetes, but has recently become of interest to scientists studying aging. It may have anti-aging properties but the scientific evidence that it extends lifespan in humans is not conclusive. It is also known to have side effects which can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: B+

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Mohammed I, Hollenberg MD, Ding H, Triggle CR. A Critical Review of the Evidence That Metformin Is a Putative Anti-Aging Drug That Enhances Healthspan and Extends Lifespan. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Aug 5;12:718942. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.718942. PMID: 34421827; PMCID: PMC8374068.
  • Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, ‎Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019

# 2 EGCG and L-theanine

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and L-theanine are natural antioxidants that are present in green tea. Research has shown anti-cancer, anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, anti-inflammatory, as well as neuroprotective effects, and benefits such as improving cardiovascular health and protecting against diabetes. The most obvious way to take these supplements is by drinking green tea.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: B+

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Pervin M, Unno K, Takagaki A, Isemura M, Nakamura Y. Function of Green Tea Catechins in the Brain: Epigallocatechin Gallate and its Metabolites. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jul 25;20(15):3630. doi: 10.3390/ijms20153630. PMID: 31349535; PMCID: PMC6696481.

# 3 Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids have been studied extensively with conflicting results. Recent reviews have attributed these discrepancies to a number of factors, including dose. Omega-3s are currently believed to offer anti-aging benefits such as reducing chronic inflammation, and a lowered risk for heart attack and death from coronary heart disease.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: B

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH. The Importance of Marine Omega-3s for Brain Development and the Prevention and Treatment of Behavior, Mood, and Other Brain Disorders. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 4;12(8):2333. doi: 10.3390/nu12082333. PMID: 32759851; PMCID: PMC7468918.
  • Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Vellas B, Rizzoli R, Kressig RW, da Silva JAP, Blauth M, Felson DT, McCloskey EV, Watzl B, Hofbauer LC, Felsenberg D, Willett WC, Dawson-Hughes B, Manson JE, Siebert U, Theiler R, Staehelin HB, de Godoi Rezende Costa Molino C, Chocano-Bedoya PO, Abderhalden LA, Egli A, Kanis JA, Orav EJ; DO-HEALTH Research Group. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation, Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation, or a Strength-Training Exercise Program on Clinical Outcomes in Older Adults: The DO-HEALTH Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020 Nov 10;324(18):1855-1868. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.16909. PMID: 33170239; PMCID: PMC7656284.
  • Rauch, B.; Schiele, R.; Schneider, S.; Diller, F.; Victor, N.; Gohlke, H.; Gottwik, M.; Steinbeck, G.; Del Castillo, U.; Sack, R.; et al. OMEGA, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial to test the effect of highly purified omega-3 fatty acids on top of modern guideline-adjusted therapy after myocardial infarction. Circulation 2010, 122, 2152–2159.
  • Mccarty, M.F.; DiNicolantonio, J.J.; Lavie, C.J.; O’Keefe, J.H. Omega-3 and prostate cancer: Examining the pertinent evidence. Mayo Clin. Proc. 2014, 89, 444–450.
  • DiNicolantonio, J.J.; Mccarty, M.F.; Lavie, C.J.; O’Keefe, J.H. Do omega-3 fatty acids cause prostate cancer? MO Med. 2013,110, 293–294.
  • Hu Y, Hu FB, Manson JE. Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease: An Updated Meta-Analysis of 13 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 127 477 Participants. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Oct;8(19):e013543. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.013543. Epub 2019 Sep 30. PMID: 31567003; PMCID: PMC6806028.

# 4 Curcumin

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is both modern and ancient. It is the active ingredient in the Ayurvedic herb turmeric. Research on curcumin is more extensive than on almost any other natural product. Studies on curcumin have also shown it affects the expression of SIRT1 protein, suggesting a positive role in the treatment of diabetes, heart disease, and aging. While numerous benefits in animals have been verified in thousands of published papers, human studies are limited by the bioavailability of this active ingredient. A 2017 study points out that no double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials of curcumin have ever been successful. It further states that when curcumin is isolated, it is unstable, reactive, and difficult to assimilate in humans. Is isolating an active ingredient, the best approach when there could be other beneficial substances in turmeric that could interact synergistically to enhance its absorption and overall effects?

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C-

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Tomeh MA, Hadianamrei R, Zhao X. A Review of Curcumin and Its Derivatives as Anticancer Agents. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Feb 27;20(5):1033. doi: 10.3390/ijms20051033. PMID: 30818786; PMCID: PMC6429287.
  • Salehi B, Stojanović-Radić Z, Matejić J, Sharifi-Rad M, Anil Kumar NV, Martins N, Sharifi-Rad J. The therapeutic potential of curcumin: A review of clinical trials. Eur J Med Chem. 2019 Feb 1;163:527-545. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.12.016. Epub 2018 Dec 7. PMID: 30553144.
  • Lang A, Salomon N, Wu JC, Kopylov U, Lahat A, Har‑Noy O, et al. Curcumin in combination with mesalamine induces remission in patients with mild‑to‑moderate ulcerative colitis in a randomized controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015;13:1444‑9.e1.
  • Sudheeran SP, Jacob D, Mulakal JN, Nair GG, Maliakel A, Maliakel B, et al. Safety, tolerance, and enhanced efficacy of a bioavailable formulation of curcumin with fenugreek dietary fiber on occupational stress a randomized, double‑blind, placebo‑controlled pilot study. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2016;36:236‑43.
  • Aggarwal BB, Harikumar KB. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti‑inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2009;41:40‑59.
  • Venigalla M, Sonego S, Gyengesi E, Sharman MJ, Münch G. Novel promising therapeutics against chronic neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurochem Int 2016;95:63‑74.
  • Nelson KM, Dahlin JL, Bisson J, Graham J, Pauli GF, Walters MA. The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin. J Med Chem. 2017 Mar 9;60(5):1620-1637. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00975. Epub 2017 Jan 11. PMID: 28074653; PMCID: PMC5346970.

# 5 Resveratrol

Resveratrol, derived from grape skins, stimulates the SIRT1 protein. As it is present in red wine, experts have suggested that this is what explains the so called “French Paradox,” referring to the low incidence of heart attacks in the French population despite their high per capita consumption of saturated fats in butter and meats.

Studies have shown that the combination of resveratrol and caloric restriction can markedly extend the lifespan of animals. But resveratrol is not assimilated very well in humans and, like many other anti-aging substances it isn’t always effective. A much higher dose would have to be consumed (the equivalent of many bottles of wine).

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C-

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Li J, Zhang CX, Liu YM, Chen KL, Chen G. A comparative study of anti-aging properties and mechanism: resveratrol and caloric restriction. Oncotarget. 2017 Aug 9;8(39):65717-65729. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.20084. PMID: 29029466; PMCID: PMC5630366.
  • Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, ‎Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019

# 6 Quercetin

Another possible anti-aging candidate with many potential uses, is quercetin, a plant flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables. Quercetin has been observed to increase SIRT1 activity by five times, and is found to act as a senolytic, a compound that can eliminate old or senescent cells whose presence adversely affects other cells and actually accelerates the aging process. Again, however, its therapeutic value is reduced by its limited ability to reach body tissues.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C-

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Panche AN, Diwan AD, Chandra SR. Flavonoids: an overview. J Nutr Sci. 2016 Dec 29;5:e47. doi: 10.1017/jns.2016.41. PMID: 28620474; PMCID: PMC5465813.
  • Boots AW, Haenen GR, Bast A. Health effects of quercetin: from antioxidant to nutraceutical. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):325-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.03.008. Epub 2008 Mar 18. PMID: 18417116.
  • Bischoff SC. Quercetin: potentials in the prevention and therapy of disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Nov;11(6):733-40. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831394b8. PMID: 18827577.
  • Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, ‎Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019

# 7 Rapamycin

In an expedition to Easter Island, which collected soil samples among the large standing stones, a bacteria was found that produced an antifungal compound. This later resulted in the development of the drug rapamycin, which is now an important immune suppressant used in cancer treatment and organ transplant. It was named to acknowledge its discovery on Easter Island, originally known by the Polynesian name Rapa Nui. It is an effective drug but as an anti-aging supplement its uses may be limited because of its many side-effects. There is research showing benefical effects on aging skin.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C-

Cost: High

References

  • Blagosklonny MV. Rapamycin for longevity: opinion article. Aging (Albany NY). 2019;11(19):8048-8067. doi:10.18632/aging.102355
  • Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, ‎Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019
  • Blagosklonny MV. Rapamycin for the aging skin. Aging (Albany NY). 2019 Dec 27;11(24):12822-12826. doi: 10.18632/aging.102664. Epub 2019 Dec 27. PMID: 31895693; PMCID: PMC6949048

# 8 Fisetin

Fisetin is an anti-oxidant bioactive flavonoid compound found in fruits and vegetables that acts as a senolytic, killing senescent cells. Animal studies suggest that it may reduce the number of senescent cells in tissues, extend life span, and improving cognitive and behavior performance.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Yousefzadeh MJ, Zhu Y, McGowan SJ, Angelini L, Fuhrmann-Stroissnigg H, Xu M, Ling YY, Melos KI, Pirtskhalava T, Inman CL, McGuckian C, Wade EA, Kato JI, Grassi D, Wentworth M, Burd CE, Arriaga EA, Ladiges WL, Tchkonia T, Kirkland JL, Robbins PD, Niedernhofer LJ. Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan. EBioMedicine. 2018 Oct;36:18-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.09.015. Epub 2018 Sep 29. PMID: 30279143; PMCID: PMC6197652.
  • Das J, Singh R, Ladol S, Nayak SK, Sharma D. Fisetin prevents the aging-associated decline in relative spectral power of α, β and linked MUA in the cortex and behavioral alterations. Exp Gerontol. 2020 Sep;138:111006. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.111006. Epub 2020 Jun 24. PMID: 32592831.
  • Kashyap D, Garg VK, Tuli HS, Yerer MB, Sak K, Sharma AK, Kumar M, Aggarwal V, Sandhu SS. Fisetin and Quercetin: Promising Flavonoids with Chemopreventive Potential. Biomolecules. 2019 May 6;9(5):174. doi: 10.3390/biom9050174. PMID: 31064104; PMCID: PMC6572624.

# 9 NAD+

The longevity supplement NAD+, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is known to energize the sirtuin pathway and boost the activity of all 7 sirtuin proteins (SIRT1 through SIRT7). It is involved in metabolic processes, including energy production, DNA repair, and gene expression. With age, NAD+ levels decline. The reasoning for its use as a longevity supplement is to create more NAD+ in the body that could be beneficial to promote healthier aging. To do this supplements often contain precursor compounds such as nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) that help synthesize more NAD+. There have been many studies in animals showing beneficial effects. Clinical trials have shown its safety and the effectiveness of precursor vitamin, nicotinamide riboside (NR), in stimulating NAD+ metabolism in healthy middle-aged and older adults, with some of the studies showing no effects for certain conditions such as abnormal pancreatic function. Further human studies are eagerly awaited.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C-

Cost: High

References

  • Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, ‎Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019
  • Martens CR, Denman BA, Mazzo MR, Armstrong ML, Reisdorph N, McQueen MB, Chonchol M, Seals DR. Chronic nicotinamide riboside supplementation is well-tolerated and elevates NAD+ in healthy middle-aged and older adults. Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 29;9(1):1286. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03421-7. PMID: 29599478; PMCID: PMC5876407.
  • Dollerup OL, Trammell SAJ, Hartmann B, Holst JJ, Christensen B, Møller N, Gillum MP, Treebak JT, Jessen N. Effects of Nicotinamide Riboside on Endocrine Pancreatic Function and Incretin Hormones in Nondiabetic Men With Obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Nov 1;104(11):5703-5714. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-01081. PMID: 31390002
  • Wang K, Liu H, Hu Q, Wang L, Liu J, Zheng Z, Zhang W, Ren J, Zhu F, Liu GH. Epigenetic regulation of aging: implications for interventions of aging and diseases. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2022 Nov 7;7(1):374. doi: 10.1038/s41392-022-01211-8. PMID: 36336680; PMCID: PMC9637765.

# 10 CoQ10

CoQ10 is an antioxidant produced naturally by your body, which declines with age. It is involved in the growth and maintenance of cells, and has been suggested to help with congestive heart failure and a variety of other conditions. Supplements are often made with ubiquinone, an already-oxidized form of CoQ10 that is difficult for your body to absorb. Other formulations are attempting to improve bioavailability.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: C-

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Pravst I, Rodríguez Aguilera JC, Cortes Rodriguez AB, Jazbar J, Locatelli I, Hristov H, Žmitek K. Comparative Bioavailability of Different Coenzyme Q10 Formulations in Healthy Elderly Individuals. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 16;12(3):784. doi: 10.3390/nu12030784. PMID: 32188111; PMCID: PMC7146408.

 

Ancient Ayurveda Longevity Supplements

 

#1 Amrit Kalash

One of the most important anti-aging compounds is Maharishi Amrit Kalash. Its chemical analysis shows that it contains plant phytochemicals with strong antioxidant properties that include polyphenols, bioflavonoids, vitamins C and E, beta carotene, catechin, tannic acid, and resveratrol. Maharishi Amrit Kalash is a combination of two separate compounds, “Nectar” (M-4), and “Ambrosia” (M-5) and is composed of 23 herbs.

There has been extensive scientific research at institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Niwa Institute of Immunology in Japan, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Loyola University Medical School, University of Kansas Medical Center, South Dakota State University, University of Colorado, Indiana University, SRI International, and the University of California at Irvine.

Studies have shown the rasayana Maharishi Amrit Kalash to have important potential benefits:

    • inhibiting tumor growth
    • scavenging free radicals
    • positively influencing known cardiovascular risk factors
    • inhibiting degenerative processes, including abnormal platelet aggregation (clotting leading to cardiovascular disease) and the aging process
    • enhanced immune response

This preparation and other rasayanas have been time-tested over many hundreds of years. According to Ayurveda, this herbal preparation helps to reset the proper sequential unfoldment of the inner intelligence of the body, and automatically corrects imbalances that may lead to disease.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: B

Cost: Reasonable to High

References

  • Penza M, Montani C, Jeremic M, Mazzoleni G, Hsiao WL, Marra M, Sharma H, Di Lorenzo D. MAK-4 and -5 supplemented diet inhibits liver carcinogenesis in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Jun 8;7:19. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-7-19. PMID: 17559639; PMCID: PMC1894988.
  • Dwivedi C, Agrawal P, Natarajan K, Sharma H. Antioxidant and protective effects of Amrit Nectar tablets on adriamycin- and cisplatin-induced toxicities. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Feb;11(1):143-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.143. PMID: 15750373.Inaba R, Mirbod SM, Sugiura H. Effects of Maharishi Amrit Kalash 5 as an Ayurvedic herbal food supplement on immune functions in aged mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2005 Mar 25;5:8. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-5-8. PMID: 15790423; PMCID: PMC1084244.
  • Vohra BP, Sharma SP, Kansal VK. Effect of Maharishi Amrit Kalash on age dependent variations in mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial population in different regions of the central nervous system of guinea-pigs. Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 2001;18(1):57-68. doi: 10.1515/dmdi.2001.18.1.57. PMID: 11522125.
  • Sharma H, Keith Wallace R. Ayurveda and Epigenetics. Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Dec 11;56(12):687. doi: 10.3390/medicina56120687. PMID: 33322263; PMCID: PMC7763202.

#2 Triphala

Triphala is classified as a tridoshic rasayana. It is an important Ayurvedic preparation consisting of the following three medicinal fruits:

  • amla (Emblica officinalis, or Indian gooseberry)
  • bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica)
  • haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Animal research has found many potential beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulation, gastric hyperacidity reduction, dental caries prevention, and anticancer and chemopreventive effects. It has been studied extensively for its use in gastrointestinal health and is commonly used to reduce constipation and flatulence while improving the consistency of bowel movements. It also has unique properties of reducing stress and improving cardiovascular health.

Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

Scientific Evidence in Humans: B

Cost: Reasonable

References

  • Peterson CT, Denniston K, Chopra D. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Aug;23(8):607-614. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0083. Epub 2017 Jul 11. PMID: 28696777; PMCID: PMC5567597.
  • Baliga MS, et al.. Scientific validation of the ethnomedicinal properties of the Ayurvedic drug Triphala: A review. Chin J Integr Med 2012;18:946–954

    #3 Ashwagandha

    One of the primary uses of this Ayurvedic herb is in reducing stress and improving mental alertness in elderly individuals. A number of studies have shown reduced anxiety, depression, and improvements in insomnia and overall well-being.

    Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

    Scientific Evidence in Humans: B

    Cost: Reasonable

    References

    Speers AB, Cabey KA, Soumyanath A, Wright KM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress- Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021;19(9):1468-1495. doi: 10.2174/1570159X19666210712151556. PMID: 34254920; PMCID: PMC8762185.

    #4 Brahmi

    Brahmi (Bacopa monieri) is an important herb in Ayurveda. Animal studies have shown clear anti-inflammatory properties. Other studies have shown improvements in cognitive function such as learning, attention, and memory. Other research suggests its role in improving the body’s ability to deal with stress.

    Scientific Evidence in Animals: A

    Scientific Evidence in Humans: B

    Cost: Reasonable

    References

    • Nemetchek MD, Stierle AA, Stierle DB, Lurie DI. The Ayurvedic plant Bacopa monnieri inhibits inflammatory pathways in the brain. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Feb 2;197:92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.07.073. Epub 2016 Jul 26. PMID: 27473605; PMCID: PMC5269610
    • Williams R, Münch G, Gyengesi E, Bennett L. Bacopa monnieri (L.) exerts anti-inflammatory effects on cells of the innate immune system in vitro. Food Funct. 2014 Mar;5(3):517-20. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60467e. PMID: 24452710.
    • Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, Downey LA, Hutchison CW, Rodgers T, Nathan PJ. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Aug;156(4):481-4. doi: 10.1007/s002130100815. Erratum in: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Jul;232(13):2427. Dosage error in article text. PMID: 11498727.
    • Peth-Nui T, Wattanathorn J, Muchimapura S, Tong-Un T, Piyavhatkul N, Rangseekajee P, Ingkaninan K, Vittaya-Areekul S. Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:606424. doi: 10.1155/2012/606424. Epub 2012 Dec 18. PMID: 23320031; PMCID: PMC3537209.
    • Rai D, Bhatia G, Palit G, Pal R, Singh S, Singh HK. Adaptogenic effect of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi). Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jul;75(4):823-30. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00156-4. PMID: 12957224.
    • Benson S, Downey LA, Stough C, Wetherell M, Zangara A, Scholey A. An acute, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study of 320 mg and 640 mg doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on multitasking stress reactivity and mood. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):551-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5029. Epub 2013 Jun 21. PMID: 23788517.
    • Calabrese C, Gregory WL, Leo M, Kraemer D, Bone K, Oken B. Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jul;14(6):707-13. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0018. PMID: 18611150; PMCID: PMC3153866.

       

       

       

      2 Comments

      1. Bobbi

        Wow sooooo interesting ! Live this ! I take alit if these but not all.. whenever I want and I have a supplement for Mapi I can’t seem to be able to order a few at a time only one at a time being in Canada

        Reply

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