While it is true that your body needs different vitamins and nutrients as you age, it is also true that your body needs essential vitamins and nutrients no matter if you are 25 or 65. As you get older and find gray hairs or wrinkles that weren’t there last week, it’s common to run to the nearest drug store or hair salon to cover up or “fix” your problem. But when it comes to taking vitamins and nutrients, there are some that may help from the inside first, no matter your age or the amount of gray hairs you find.
Dermatologist Judith Hellman, MD, explains, “Certain nutrients are proven to increase telomere length – the little caps on the end of DNA strands that correlate to aging.” Basically, as we age, these “little caps” begin to shorten and it becomes more difficult for DNA to regenerate like it did in the past, causing cells to breakdown, also known as aging. Hellman also explains that your telomere length serves as a marker for your lifespan: The shorter the telomeres get, the less time you have left. But she also explains that certain nutrients and antioxidants can help to counteract these aging processes.
Vitamin A, C & D
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Vitamin A, “stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, takes part in remodeling bone, helps maintain the health of endothelial cells (those lining the body’s interior surfaces), and regulates cell growth and division.”
Vitamin C is one of the most exhaustively studied of all vitamins, and there is a promising amount of clinical research to support the fact that Vitamin C is highly beneficial for a variety of body functions. These include its powerful antioxidant protection, its role in the formation of collagen and wound healing, and its ability to protect the body from damaging free radicals. It is also a very effective nutrient for maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin C mediates the inflammatory pathways throughout your body, fighting various sources of inflammation and increasing overall immunity.
Vitamin D has become one of the most highly recommended dietary supplements over the last few years by healthcare professionals. Vitamin D is not technically an essential vitamin, since the body naturally synthesizes the “sunshine vitamin” through a chemical reaction between the sun’s UV rays and the cholesterol on your skin. Nevertheless, it has been estimated that approximately 70% of North Americans have Vitamin D deficiencies. This is due to a combination of factors: low levels of sunlight for most of the year, obesity, sun avoidance, and low consumption of foods high in Vitamin D such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines). Inadequate Vitamin D in the body often leads to conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia, which bring on symptoms like bone and muscle pain, enlarged joints, and easily fractured bones. Given the high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, this could be the most essential of all the conditionally essential vitamins.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Director of Nutrition of InVite Health’s Boca Raton location, Nicole Crane, BS, NTP, has said that fish and other omega-3s are considered to be the best source of fat and, while most people don’t get nearly enough omega-3 fats in their diet, they give you a huge advantage in protecting your heart and the rest of your body. “Two essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, support cardiovascular wellness in several fundamental ways, and the research shows how protective they are. Managing inflammation is vital for wellness and disease prevention. Further, the body uses EPA and DHA as the building blocks for eyes, nerves, the brain, the skin and many types of cells, as well as many body systems. EPA and DHA are infinitely helpful and nourishing for the entire body.” Read more about Omega-3’s in Nicole Crane’s latest article by clicking here.
Studies published in the January 2005 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have indicated benefits of polyphenols on aging, overall brain health and the cardiovascular system –
“These improvements may show up as improved mobility and improved cognitive function. Our research shows that it is not just antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities by these nutrients but also improved cell signaling (communication between cells that insures the development of normal-healthy cells) and improved neuronal communication.”
“Epidemiological studies suggest that higher intake of polyphenols from fruit and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Polyphenols improve the surface function of blood vessel walls and help regulate platelets decreasing the risk of an abnormal blood clot. Improving the function of blood vessel wall cells decreases the risk of coronary artery disease. The positive effect on platelets decreases the abnormal coagulation (blood clotting) seen in acute coronary syndromes including a heart attack and unstable angina.”
According to Scientific Director of InVite Health, Jerry Hickey, R.Ph, “Turmeric is a wonderful herb. It is native to India and is a major constituent in curry. Turmeric is achieving success in suppressing inflammation in many wonderful human clinical trials. It is great for the digestive tract, for protecting the skin, lungs, liver and kidneys, and for healing many tissues that otherwise, causes you to suffer with needless pain when they become inflamed.”
In a recent study by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, curcumin (which gives turmeric its “peppery flavor” and “mustardy smell”) appeared to block the growth of melanoma and also tamps down inflammation in the body.*
“The mineral Magnesium is best known as a counterpart to Calcium for improving bone health but that is only a small part of the Magnesium story. The National Institutes of Health lists Magnesium as being necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is necessary for protein synthesis and maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping the hearts rhythm steady and normal, and for energy production. Magnesium is also needed for blood glucose control (blood sugar), and blood pressure regulation,” Jerry Hickey, R.Ph explained in a radio study in November of 2013.
According to another Radio Study explained by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph, “Resveratrol is a major manipulator and that’s not a bad thing because Resveratrol manipulates your genes. Resveratrol slows aging of important genes in your brain, your heart and your muscles and this is very, very good because these genes keep your brain, your heart and other organs younger and well-functioning. Resveratrol also works as a powerful cellular antioxidant putting out the flames of inflammation in a microscopic fashion. Because of this, Resveratrol has demonstrated major ability to help protect your heart, circulation, brain, kidneys, pancreas, thyroid and adrenal glands.”
“Coenzyme Q10 works like a spark plug igniting the ability to utilize energy. Some of the organs in your body can have a sufficient supply of Coenzyme Q10, however it stays put, so if another organ such as the brain or heart lacks the nutrient it cannot borrow any; it must have its own supply. Unfortunately the level of Coenzyme Q10 naturally declines with aging and illness in key organs including the heart, the brain, the liver and kidneys. Also, many classes of prescription drugs deplete your Coenzyme Q10 making supplementation imperative for maintaining energy and efficiency. Statin cholesterol drugs are notorious for depleting Coenzyme Q10 but so do many drugs used for treating high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, as well as other popular drug categories. By supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 you can ensure an adequate supply of this energy producing nutrient in every important organ of your body,” explains Jerry Hickey, R.Ph in an article titled, “Turn the Clock Back on your Aging Brain”.