Do you take a supplement ? Many people do, even if it is just a simple multi-vitamin. It seems to be a controversial topic in some ways as many claim that you don't need a supplement if you have a well balanced diet and are simply, in the words of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory fame, making “expensive pee”.
As far as anti-aging supplements go, it could be argued that they are supplementing things that your body no longer produces or does not produce enough of as a result of wear and tear or age. Or even that they provide extra protection for organs and tissue that are showing signs of aging.
So there is some sense in taking certain supplements as we age but what exactly ? Well, here are a few supplements that you have probably never heard of before and how they can help your body.
Warning : Stand by for weird and hard to pronounce names !
1.Acetyl-L-Carnitine (aka ALCAR)
ALCAR is thought to have two benefits in terms of anti-aging. The first is that ALCAR can cross the so called blood–brain barrier and enter the brain, where it acts as a powerful antioxidant. This can prevent free radical damage to brain cells thus helping to keep the brain healthy.
ALCAR is also thought to improve insulin response. Poor insulin response is more common as we age and behind many age related diseases
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Curcumin acts as an antioxidant for brain...[/caption]
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, the spice or root that is used in cooking and medicinally. It is especially popular in the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia. Many an Indian curry will start with turmeric as a base ingredient. Turmeric fish is a specialty dish in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dried turmeric is applied to cuts and wounds in Ayurvedic medicine.
Curcumin is thought to help the brain function, as it too acts as an antioxidant for brain cells. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation is often a cause of age related diseases as the body's immune response destroys healthy cells or stops them functioning properly.
D-Ribose is thought to help cells with energy production. This is particularly the case with muscle cells and tissue. D-Ribose is a form of sugar produced from glucose by the body and is used by bodybuilders and athletes prior to a workout or exercise session. As far as aging goes, it can keep people more active which has overall health benefits.
L-Carnosine is an amino-acid that is thought to have numerous benefits.
It is thought to help reduce the effects of glycolsylation (Advanced Glycosylated End Products damage of tissue). This is another cause, or at the very least contributing factor, of many age related diseases
It is thought to be an antioxidant for brain cells, thus prevent free radical damage and reducing the chances of common brain diseases and deteriorating brain function.
It is thought to help keep skin firmer thus reducing the appearance of aging.
As with many so called anti-aging supplements, much of the hard research has been performed on mice or has had very limited human trials. So it's hard to say how effective the results will be. With this said, there are plenty of people selling these products as supplements now and many people taking them.
It pays to read forums where people have used the supplements so that you know what you can expect. You may also want to consult your doctor or a doctor that has some knowledge on the topic if you plan to start taking a supplement. Although this may be hard as many of the supplements are new and not many people have heard of them.