It’s a question many of us have: “What can I do to live a long and healthy life?” Many things contribute to our health and wellness, like the quality of our diet, sleep, and physical activity - even the quality of our personal relationships adds to our overall sense of well-being. These lifestyle principles are centrally important, but we can also add a few key supplements to increase our ability to protect our cells from damage and improve our longevity for a life full of energy and enjoyment.
1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha-lipoic acid is a very important antioxidant that can have significant health benefits. It has been studied for its important role in energy metabolism and protecting our cells from mitochondrial dysfunction caused by oxidation. Most healthy people can make enough ALA to enhance other key antioxidants in our bodies such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E; however, the levels of alpha-lipoic acid in our bodies decreases as we get older, and this can lead to endothelial or cell dysfunction. This makes ALA an important supplement to add to our regimens as we age.
CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) plays a big role in the energy pathways of our mitochondria, the cells' powerhouse. Some studies have shown that a deficiency in this important electron and proton carrier can be associated with neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, muscle disorders, and heart disease.
Resveratrol is one of the most studied antioxidants. It is a polyphenol found in red grapes (and red wine), blueberries, raspberries, peanuts, and cocoa, to name a few. It has a number of health benefits that range from improving blood sugar control to reducing inflammation and helping with detoxification, among many others. In addition, a compound called pterostilbene (which is a metabolite of resveratrol) might be even more effective than resveratrol itself.
4. Fish Oil (Omega-3)
Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory properties are well-established, and Omega-3s are a healthy form of fat that can help reduce inflammation and cardiovascular risk. There are even fish-oil-derived specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) that might reduce inflammation and potentially have a therapeutic benefit in cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, sepsis, pancreatitis, and other conditions.