How to increase longevity

How to live longer is the ever lasting question.  And this search increases in value the older we get.  So as a healthy 57 year old, experiencing all the usual aches, pains, and hormonal ineptitudes of my age, I research and look for ways to help those who enter my clinic looking for a better way to age gracefully.  

Increasing longevity using supplements is a topic that requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare professional.  Whilst many supplements are available online and over the counter, without discussing all aspects of your health, diet, family history and medical overview, it is not possible to accurately assess what to treat and take first, in order to improve health, in order to ascertain a pathway to improved longevity.  Seeing a Naturopath means that you are engaging with a health professional who has trained in research and knowledge of supplements, herbal medicines and dietary input.  

While some supplements may have promising effects on health and longevity, others may have limited evidence or even adverse effects. Here are some general guidelines for using supplements to potentially increase longevity:

  • Consult a healthcare professional: Before starting any supplement regimen, it’s essential to consult with a qualified healthcare provider, such as a qualified Naturopath with experience in this area of health. They can evaluate your individual health status, medical history, and potential interactions with medications before recommending any supplements.
  • Focus on a balanced diet: While supplements can complement a healthy diet, they should not be seen as a substitute for it. A diet high in real foods, rich in good quality vegetables, sufficient protein, and healthy fats provides essential nutrients that support overall health and longevity.
  • Consider key supplements: Some supplements have shown potential benefits for longevity. These include:
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fish oil supplements, omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease and improved cognitive function.  It is important to take good quality supplements, which have been tested for heavy metals, farmed sensitively, and contain high levels of EPA and DHA.  
    • Vitamin D: Adequate levels of vitamin D are important for bone health, immune function, and may have some association with longevity.  It also helps with use of magnesium which is essential for quality of life.  Whilst we like to think that we can get enough vitamin D through the sun, this becomes more problematic as we age, so it is essential to test and supplement appropriately.  
    • Antioxidants: Compounds like vitamins C and E, selenium, and polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables, and certain supplements may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, potentially supporting longevity, reducing reaction to stress, and enabling better tissue repair.  
    • Resveratrol: Found in red wine and certain supplements, resveratrol has been studied for its potential anti-aging effects, although research is ongoing.  This is not an excuse for drinking more red wine and eating more chocolate.  Sorry…
    • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This antioxidant is involved in energy production within cells and may have benefits for heart health and improved energy.  It is an important treatment for long term fatigue, post viral fatigue, and needs a good quality version at appropriate doses over time.  
    • Collagen:  found in slow cooked meat foods, this can protect joints, tendons, bone health, as well as skin, hair and nails.  Specific types of supplements offer effective support.  
  • Avoid excessive doses: Taking too much of certain supplements can be harmful and may even shorten lifespan. Stick to recommended doses and avoid mega-dosing, especially without appropriate supervision.
  • Be cautious of claims: Be wary of supplements marketed with extravagant claims about their ability to increase longevity. Look for products backed by scientific evidence and reputable sources.
  • Monitor for side effects: Pay attention to how your body reacts to supplements and report any adverse effects to your healthcare provider.
  • Lifestyle factors: Remember that supplements are just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, and avoiding harmful habits like stress, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are also crucial for promoting longevity.
  • Regular health screenings: Even with supplements, it’s important to undergo regular health screenings and check-ups to detect and address any underlying health issues that may impact longevity. 

It is important to have a long term plan for long term health.  Part of this plan involves accepting that supplements, good diet, exercise are all included.  Seeking help to achieve good long term outcome, as part of a comprehensive approach to health and wellbeing.  



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