People, young and old, spend billions every year on dietary supplements, miracle pills and mega-vitamins. As we age, we’re likely to take or use supplements on a regular basis. In the fact, the majority of people over the age of sixty use some kind of supplement on a regular basis. But, how do you know what’s real and what’s nothing more than an empty promise?
Of course, claims of a better sex life, fewer wrinkles or increased vitality are all enticing, but without definitive evidence or medical research to back it up – they’re still just claims.
So when you’re trying to decide what brand or type of supplement to purchase, always try to arm yourself with accurate information about the product’s safety, recommended dosage and efficacy. In the additional resources appendix of this book, you’ll find links to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and the FDA website to help you. If you’re in doubt, always consult a local pharmacist or your doctor.
Below are a list of common supplements and vitamins available in most drug stores, including information about their purpose and effectiveness.
As our bodies age, we lose the ability to absorb certain vitamins and nutrients like folate or folic acid, which can reduce our risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have shown that healthy doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and beta carotene can work to improve ocular degeneration or boost our immune systems, but our ability to use these vitamins declines with age. This is why vitamin supplements are so popular, by supplying the body with more vitamins; we are more likely to utilize our daily requirements.
Typically, vitamins are beneficial to your health, but an overdose can cause complications. For example, taking more than 400 IUs of vitamin E in a day can increase your risk of heart attack, while an overdose of vitamin K can be toxic.
Generally, an all-round daily multivitamin is a good choice for most people. The dosages are correct and the formulas are balanced.
Because Omega-3 fats are so powerful at reducing our risk for stroke, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, you’ll often find Omega-3 prominently displayed in your supplements’ aisle.
Omega-3 fats work by having an antioxidant effect that fights free radicals and minimizing the inflammation that can cause damage to your brain and heart cells. They’re also been shown to improve general mood and memory ability. If men have testoxlr8-pro-testosterone-booster, women also need to take their own supplements to get rid the signs of aging.
Because most Omega-3 supplements are made from fish oil, try to buy yours refrigerated and in small doses.
A popular herbal remedy, ginkgo biloba is a leaf extract that’s believed to improve memory ability and cerebral circulation. Research on this natural supplement is still young, but it’s believed to be safe and there is evidence to suggest that it can provide memory benefits. Gingko Biloba has been used to treat age-related memory loss and early Alzheimer’s.
Possible side effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, heartburn and low blood pressure.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are often taken by arthritis sufferers. Extensive and systematic studies have shown that a correct combination of these two supplements, derived from shellfish and cow cartilage, is an effective treatment for arthritis symptoms and may slow joint deterioration.
Common side effects include loose stools, intestinal gas and heartburn.
Estrogen and Testosterone
Before embarking on any hormone replacement therapy program, discuss the pros and cons thoroughly with your doctor. Typically, estrogen is prescribed to help with the symptoms of menopause (night sweats, hot flashes, sleep disturbances) and treat vaginal dryness, vaginal thinning, menstrual disorders and atrophy.
However, because estrogen can increase your risk for uterine cancer and breast cancer, most doctors recommend the lowest possible dosage for the shortest period possible. Testosterone can also be prescribed by your doctor to counteract abnormally low testosterone levels, shrinking muscle mass, fatigue and low sex drive.
As people age, testosterone levels decline, they’re more susceptible to hormonal changes or disease and their sex drives decline. However, despite physical illness, pain or hormonal ailments, there are effective and safe treatments that can restore a healthy level of sexual desire.
For female patients, a doctor will typically prescribe the estrogen or testosterone treatments discussed in the previous section. Meanwhile, male patients are usually prescribed Cialis, Levitra or Viagra. Before prescribing these drugs, doctors will usually check their patients for high blood pressure, diabetes and other medical complications. Over the counter sexual enhancers are not recommended.
Growth Hormone Stimulants
Growth hormone stimulants, or growth hormone “releasers,” are typically marketed to consumers as a needle-free alternative to human growth hormone injections. Producers claim their stimulants can trim fat, create muscle mass, improve your sex life, fix your memory, restore hair growth and increase your energy levels.
There is currently no scientific evidence that supports any of these claims. Anyone taking growth hormone stimulants should also be aware of possible side effects.
Summary – Aging Well With a Healthy Body
Whether you want to combat bloat and weight gain or the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, maintaining a healthy body through a proper diet and an informed use of supplements is the way to go. What we put in our bodies has a direct effect on our health – either helping or hindering our bodies’ ability to fight heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, mental degradation and diabetes.