The human body is constantly aging. With every year, day, hour, and minute that passes, your cells grow older. While everyone understands what aging is, not many are sure why it happens, or at least what causes it at the molecular level. For a long time, scientists believed that aging was a result of molecular damage that accumulates over time from simply breathing in oxygen (oxidative stress) and performing other various metabolic processes necessary to survival. However, continuing research suggests that there may be multiple factors contributing to aging.
Regardless of how it happens, it’s well known that aging contributes to fine lines, wrinkles, weaker muscles, reduced bone density, and more. While you can’t turn back the clock, you can potentially slow down the aging process. Let’s take a look at some common natural anti-aging remedies and supplements.
1. Bovine Colostrum for Anti-Aging
Bovine colostrum is a fluid that comes from dairy cows in the first few days immediately after giving birth, prior to the appearance of true milk. It is known to pack protein, carbs, and healthy fats, as well as a wide range of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antibodies. Antibody levels in colostrum have been found to be as much as 100 times higher than antibody levels in normal cow’s milk, which makes sense as it is designed to establish the immune system of baby calves.
Colostrum contains a variety of bioactive components that can help slow down the aging process naturally in humans, including:
- Growth factors and anti-aging hormones – Colostrum is rich in insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2), transforming growth factors (TGF alpha and beta), and epithelial growth factor (EGF). All of these compounds have been shown to slow down the effects of aging at a cellular level.
- Amino acids – These are the building blocks of the body and the basic components of every protein. Amino acids serve as a source of energy, like fats and carbohydrates, while stimulating anabolic processes that can help build muscle and slow down muscle degradation, which typically accompanies aging.
- Proline-rich polypeptides – Proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) can help to enhance your natural defenses against oxidative stress. Studies show that PRPs may also help to improve cognitive functions in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Many of colostrum’s components also offer significant anti-aging skincare benefits.
2. Vitamin C
Most people associate vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, with cold and flu remedies. As a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C has a variety of roles in the human body, from protein synthesis to immune function. Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, the protein that comprises skin, joints, and muscle tissue. It’s no wonder that vitamin C is the most common antioxidant found in your skin. Antioxidants are designed to fight the free radicals that contribute to cellular damage and oxidative stress.
As vitamin C is so prominent in the skin, your skin tends to be the most vulnerable to environmental stressors. Sunlight, smoking, and general pollution can reduce your vitamin C levels. Studies suggest that minimal exposure to the sun can reduce your vitamin C levels by up to 30 percent. City pollution can reduce vitamin C levels by 55 percent.
The good news is that vitamin C is readily available in supplements, beauty products, and foods, including:
- Red peppers
- Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits
- Brussels sprouts
Adult women should get about 75 milligrams of vitamin C per day, and adult men should get about 90 milligrams per day.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is considered one of the most important antioxidants for the body because it helps protect cell membranes and prevents damage to enzymes. Studies show that vitamin E can effectively neutralize free radicals and protect your skin from sun damage. Vitamin E can also help to boost the immune system and widen blood vessels to prevent blood clotting within them.
Adults need about 15 milligrams of vitamin E per day. It can be found naturally in a variety of foods. You can get your daily vitamin E intake from:
- Vegetable oils (especially sunflower, safflower, and wheat germ oils)
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds)
- Spinach, broccoli, and other green vegetables
Vitamin E is also often added to fortified foods, including breakfast cereals, fruit juices, and spreads. Research with vitamin E supplements has shown inconsistent results, so getting it naturally from foods is best.
4. Fish Oil for Anti-Aging
Omega-3 fatty acids are the key ingredient in fish oil. Omega-3s are a component in every cell membrane in your body. They are often known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making them an effective tool for managing rheumatoid arthritis and other joint problems. Studies also show that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial to cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to cut down triglyceride (fat) levels and can help to protect your heart.
Adult women need about 1.1 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day, and adult men need about 1.6 grams per day. Fish and fish oil supplements are the most prominent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but you can also get them from nuts and seeds, plant oils, and foods that have been fortified.
Selenium is a mineral that plays a role in a variety of processes throughout the body, including reproduction, DNA production, and thyroid gland function. Much like the other antioxidant vitamins on this list, selenium helps to fight free radicals and prevent damage from oxidative stress. It may also help to preserve tissue elasticity and protect your skin from everyday UV ray exposure.
Adults generally need about 50 micrograms of selenium per day. Thankfully, the mineral is readily available in both plant and animal products. The amount of selenium in plants depends on how much selenium is in the soil, while the amount found in animals depends on the foods they ate. You can generally get selenium from:
- Meat, eggs, and dairy
- Grain products (including bread and cereal)
While you can’t completely reverse aging or make yourself live to 1,000, adding some foods and supplements into your daily diet can help slow down the signs of aging and support your overall health so that your years are filled with vitality.