The average American is living longer than what was seen a century ago, with the average lifespan being around 76 years old—nearly 20 years older than those living 100 years ago. But even though, on average, people are remaining on this earth for a longer period of time, this does not guarantee that every person will live to see their 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond. Outside of genetic factors, there are many environmental factors that exert influence on your longevity, from your choice of engaging in beneficial lifestyle habits to taking some of the best supplements for a longer life.
If you want to live a long life, there are certain habits you can adopt that may bump up your chances of accomplishing this goal. Participating in physical activity, avoiding tobacco, keeping your brain active, and eating a healthy, balanced, and varied diet may help you on your quest to live well into your golden years. Once you get these habits under your belt, adding some specific supplements to your regimen may offer some benefit in the longer life-promoting department.
While taking supplements won’t be a surefire way to reach triple digits, as long as you get the green light from your doctor, it is unlikely that including them will hurt your chances of living a longer life. We asked a handful of dietitians which supplements people should consider taking if they want to live a longer life, and here are the seven that were recommended. Read on to learn more, and then don’t miss learning about these 7 Foods That Can Help You Live Longer.
While research is evolving, what science shows is this nutrient may help support skin, muscle, and eye health, healthy aging, and enhance your immune system. Shaw also explains that “given its stellar antioxidant action, [astaxanthin] helps fight free radicals off in your body that over time can lead to chronic conditions that may become detrimental to your health.” Studies show a range between 2 to 12 milligrams a day to be beneficial, and one 2014 study found just 3.6 milligrams a day to be effective.
Eat This! Top Pick: NOW Foods has a few different options for astaxanthin supplements depending on your dosage (a 4-, 10-, and 12-milligram dose). Shaw prefers NOW products as they’re third-party tested and verified, which means what’s on the label is actually in the bottle (a rarity often in the supplement market!).
Popular among bodybuilders, creatine monohydrate is linked to muscle gain. But Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, performance dietitian for pro athletes and everyday exercisers tells us that “evidence on creatine’s benefits past muscular power and muscle mass continues to surface.”
She explains that research on creatine and the elderly may be preliminary, but the available evidence is promising for both cognitive and physical functioning. Jones recommends creatine monohydrate to older adults at risk of cognitive impairment as well as those hoping to maintain muscle mass “to enhance their physical capabilities as they age.”
“A meta-analysis suggests aging individuals can benefit from creatine monohydrate supplementation for benefits associated with short-term memory and reasoning, while data on older adults has shown creatine supplementation, when paired with resistance training, to benefit sarcopenia risk,” Jones explains.
Eat This! Top Pick: Her go-to creatine monohydrate choice is NOW Sports Creatine Monohydrate Powder and Klean Athlete’s Klean Creatine. They are third-party tested by Informed Sport and NSF Certified for Sport, respectively. These certifications test for substances banned by sports governing bodies, such as anabolic steroids and prescription drugs. Jones finds these certifications important, “as muscle-building supplements may be at higher risk of adulteration.”
DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in fish and shellfish. Unfortunately, most Americans are not eating the recommended servings of seafood every week, leaving them missing out on these key healthy fats.
“Omega 3s have been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure and healthy triglyceride levels,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook. She adds that “people with higher EPA+DHA intakes tend to be at lower risk for heart attack and all-cause mortality, so taking EPA and DHA omega-3 supplements may help with longevity (by reducing risk for early death)”.
Harris-Pincus advises that, while there are many excellent brands of EPA/DHA, it’s important to look at the label of the specific supplement and make sure that the highest amount of the omega-3 fats in the supplement comes from EPA or DHA or both, versus “other” omega-3s.