Everyone these days seems to still be looking for that magical fountain of youth that will keep them looking and feeling young for as long as possible. One of the many ways to achieve this goal is by focusing on proper nutrition, exercise, and taking vitamins and supplements on a daily basis.
The problem most people have is, however, that there are so many different kinds of things to take out there that it's hard to make an informed decision. Just keep on reading because we will increase your longevity with a list of 20 of the best vitamins and supplements you should be using.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
A new supplement on the rise is Alpha Lipoic Acid. Its manufacturers claim that it heals and repairs each individual cell keeping collagen in the skin from suffering more than mild damage. The supplement also claims to restore the mitochondria and produce a healthy glow to the skin. Mitochondria are the mini power plants of the body, so you will look good and feel good too.
Formed by a group of several compounds, Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining healthy vision, bone growth, cell reproduction, cell strength, and cell differentiation. Vitamin A plays a huge role in controlling the immune system, which directly impacts a person's longevity. Lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) need Vitamin A to work more effectively in fighting disease.
With improved cell strength from Vitamin A, the wetter linings of the body such as the lungs, urinary tract, intestinal tract, and eyes become much stronger. This in effect blocks many viruses and bacteria from entering the body at all. If these linings begin to break down, it is much easier to become sick.
Vitamin B6 performs a wide variety of functions in your body and is essential for your good health. More than 100 enzymes need it to metabolize protein. Vitamin B6 is also necessary to turn Tryptophan into Niacin. It's going to help make red blood cell metabolism, the immune system and central nervous system all run more efficiently. A deficiency is directly linked to anemia, because B6 is necessary in the production of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood. In short Vitamin B6 makes your blood work better, thus possibly increasing your life span.
Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is a building block red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.
Vitamin B12 is found in many forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are all together called "cobalamins." B12 is an essential part of all of our nutrition because it is one of the most basic and versatile components of biology. DNA, RNA, hormones, proteins, and lipids are all created and maintained with Niacin.
The most abundant mineral in the body is Calcium. It is so common that many daily foods or over the counter antacid tablets are fortified with Calcium. We need it to contract our muscles, expand and contract our blood vessels. Calcium is also used to transmit impulses in our nervous system and helps us secrete hormones. Still, all of these functions use less than 1% of the body's total calcium.
The rest of the Calcium in the body is used in our bones and teeth, forming the support structures of our hardest biological components. Our bones may not seem to change to us, but on a microscopic level, they are always changing. The blood absorbs and re-deposits new calcium to bones everyday of your life.
The only part of this process that changes is that rate at which this process occurs. In aging individuals, especially in postmenopausal women, the bone loss exceeds formation. This will eventually lead to osteoporosis. A good supplement may slow down or in some cases reverse the bone breakdown that comes with age.
Chromium is a mineral that humans need in trace amounts, although how exactly it works with everything in the body is not fully understood. There are two kinds of Chromium, the good kind in dietary supplements and the poisonous kind that derives from industrial pollution. In the body it is known to be critical in the production of insulin, a hormone necessary to the metabolism and storage of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the body. It is essential to maintain good Chromium levels to avoid obesity and prevent all of the health problems that it brings.
Coenzyme Q10 (abbreviated CoQ10) is a naturally occurring enzyme within the human body that forms some of the basic building blocks for effective function of the human cells. Research shows that CoQ10 levels drop off as the person ages, or if they are afflicted with some chronic diseases such as muscular dystrophies, cancer, Parkinson's disease, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels.
Using CoQ10 remains somewhat controversial as a viable treatment for these conditions for a few reasons. The first is that while it has been noted that low levels of the enzyme exist in the sickly and elderly, it has not been 100% proven that raising these levels improves overall health. There are numerous reports and studies that have support claims of improvement in patients introduced to CoQ10 supplements. The jury is still out with some stubborn scientists, though.
Also known as L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, fortified in others, and available in many dietary supplements. It is a necessary dietary component because unlike Vitamin D, endogenously (that is, inside the body) we have to get it from an outside source like an orange.
Vitamin C is a large component in the building of Collagen, which is essentially the microscopic stuff that hold our skin and ligaments tight and flexible, as well as the nutrient that heals our wounds. A person who wishes to remain active and healthy must maintain good Vitamin C levels. It is one of the few compounds we can take into our bodies at almost any dosage. The body tends to only absorb what it needs and expels the rest through urination.
DHA promotes healthy brain function and the formation of new synaptic pathways. In short, it makes your brain work better. It helps your recall, retention, and mental agility. Many products for both the very young and very old are beginning to be fortified with DHA, so finding a good supplement is easy.
A person might consider Vitamin D to be the partner to Calcium in biological function. It helps build strong bones and teeth, as well as improving the strength and durability of both red and white blood cells.
There are many foods, most notably milk, that are fortified with Vitamin D. Usually, acceptable levels of Vitamin D can be maintained naturally in the body. This is because our bodies can produce plenty of it with some exposure to sunlight. Our modern society however has made daily exposure to the sun somewhat inconvenient or even impossible for some people, making it necessary to consume the vitamin in supplemental form.
A fat soluble group of compounds, the term Vitamin E refers to several antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent damage from free radicals, which commonly appear as the signs of age (wrinkles, sagging skin, liver spots, etc).
When the body converts food into energy, electrons from the dissolved food attach to oxygen molecules in the body, and Vitamin E protects the cells from this damage. Vitamin E may also have much to do with the response of the immune system, the expression of certain genes during growth, and also promotes blood health by dilating the blood vessels and reducing platelet aggregation.
Folate is another B vitamin that has a slightly different function from the others. It seems to specifically relate to periods of rapid cell division and growth such as during pregnancy and infancy. It helps new cells grow and helps old cells repair themselves.
Folate is a basic component of both DNA and RNA, the blueprints for all cells. This does not mean that Folate is just for kids though. Children and adults both need it to make normal blood cells to prevent anemia.
Found in nature as a tree, Ginkgo has been used as a remedy in the East for thousands of years. Many people who take these supplements report an increase in mental activity and agility, as well as improved memory retention. It also helps increase blood flow and fights damage from free radicals in a similar manner to antioxidants.
This naturally occurring substance comes from a root native to the Asian continent. Ancient Chinese medicine identified Ginseng as a Stress reducer and aphrodisiac.
While it is a stimulant, one of the by-products of the chemical interaction is a hormone that helps a person deal with mental stress easier. Ginseng can also be used as a cure for sexual dysfunction. Sexual activity has certainly been shown to increase a person's life span, as it also releases a flood of happy, healthy hormones.
This element from the periodic table is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. It is no wonder that it plays so vital a role in our biological function. It forms the most basic parts of many of our enzymes and proteins.
For us Iron is chiefly involved in the transportation of oxygen from our blood cells to our vital organs. It is also a vital part of the orchestra of cell growth, differentiation and maintenance. A person who does not get enough iron has trouble getting proper oxygen delivery, tires easily and does not have good immune system function. On the other hand too much iron can result in toxicity or in extreme cases, death.
You need Vitamin K to help make strong bones and blood cells. It works together with other vitamins and minerals to promote good vascular health.
Vitamin K is also necessary in the first step to healing a wound. It helps the blood coagulate in the presence of oxygen. Vitamin K is also recognized in some countries as a treatment for osteoporosis.
This highly reactive element form the periodic table is used in a variety of ways. As with other minerals, it helps for some of the structures in the body not just bones and teeth, but also cellular walls. This only accounts for about half of the body's total Magnesium, however.
The other half performs different chemical reactions in the body including a normal heart rhythm and supporting a healthy immune system. Today researchers are taking a new look at Magnesium, because recent advancements have suggested that it plays a role in the body's natural treatment of hypertension, diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.
These fatty acids are used in a number of ways within the human body. They help promote cardiovascular health and improved brain function. There are also some links with Omega-3 and reduced chances of cancer growth, but many of these studies are far from complete.
Again this is one of those supplements that seem to have a lot of appeal now, and may pan out to be one of the greatest supplements to our health ever, but the research and the time are not quite there yet.
Selenium is another base element like Iron and Chromium that is necessary for proper health in the human body. It functions in a very similar way to Chromium in the body. In addition to its antioxidant properties, Selenium may have an impact on thyroid function. The level of selenium in the body is regulated very closely, as too much is definitely bad for you.
People need Zinc to maintain a healthy balance. It is also a base element, like many of the supplements mentioned above. Cells throughout the body contain Zinc. Your immune system needs it to effectively defend itself from viruses and bacteria. Zinc is another building block of proteins and DNA, which are the raw materials of biology. It is key in the healthy development and maintenance in the human body.
So now you are well informed on the 20 most important Vitamins and Supplements that will help keep you in a good strong body well into your golden years. Whether you are a spring chicken looking for prevention, or an old dog shopping for new tricks, any and all of these listed on the bottle of your choice are good for you, but always tell your doctor when beginning a new daily supplement.
As always if you have any questions regarding the article above or anything fitness related please send me an email with your questions. AlexBigStew@gmail.com