Which Supplements Actually Help To Fight Aging?

If you do a search for “aging supplements,” you’ll get hundreds of millions of results. How do you wade through all the options, knowing that some probably work better than others?

As research into aging science progresses, more people are interested in making changes that may help them live longer. Supplements may be one lifestyle choice that could help you live a long and healthy life.

Anti-Aging Supplements: What’s the Evidence?

Unlike medications, which are approved and regulated by pharmaceutical regulators, supplements aren’t typically reviewed for effectiveness before they’re sold. This means that some companies may insist their supplements provide certain benefits even when there’s little to no evidence proving the claim. Understanding more about the research may help you find something that works well for you.

1. NAD+ and NR

Two of the hottest aging supplements are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and nicotinamide riboside (NR). Researchers became interested in these molecules after it was discovered that NAD+ levels drop over time and are connected with age-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. These supplements became even more popular after it was discovered that they can extend the life of many types of animals.

Does this mean that NAD+ — or NR, a molecule that your body uses to make NAD+ — can slow down aging for humans? The answer isn’t that simple. After all, it takes a long time to study whether a substance has an effect on a person’s lifespan. Some studies have shown that NR supplements may reduce inflammation and relieve disease symptoms, but others haven’t reported any major benefits. More research is needed before we understand whether these supplements truly fight aging.

2. CoQ10

CoQ10 (also called coenzyme Q10) is a molecule naturally found in your body that helps produce energy. Low CoQ10 levels have been linked to age-related diseases like diabetes and kidney disease, and some experts believe that this substance is needed for healthy aging. Although more research is needed, one study found that elderly adults who took CoQ10 supplements had a better quality of life and spent more time out of the hospital.

3. Resveratrol

Animal studies have found that resveratrol may help delay aging, but its effects in humans are less clear. Some but not all studies show that this supplement could protect heart health and boost memory. Resveratrol may also help fight skin aging — it reverses cell death and triggers healing processes in the skin.


Supplements containing EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, might help stave off illnesses linked to aging. EGCG might help reduce inflammation, fight damage, and help fight heart disease and diabetes. Research has even shown that it might decrease cancer risk.

5. Curcumin

Curcumin comes from turmeric, a spice long used as medicine in India and China. Curcumin may help delay aging within cells and help your tissues fight damage. It can also extend the life of animals like fruit flies and mice. In humans, it might have some anti-aging effects, such as protection against cognitive decline and dementia, although results from studies have been somewhat mixed.

6. Collagen

Collagen is the building block that helps make up your bones, cartilage, and skin. Unfortunately, collagen levels decrease as you age. This means that your bones get weaker, your skin starts to sag — you get the picture.

There’s not much evidence that collagen will help you live longer, but it could help minimize signs of aging like skin wrinkles and arthritis.

Adding In Supplements as You Age

One thing to consider is that you have different nutritional needs as you get older. Those over the age of 50 often need more calcium as well as vitamins D, B6, and B12. Pop a vitamin every morning or take supplements containing these nutrients to help avoid age-related health issues.

Why the Right Supplements Matter

Many people think that because most supplements are “natural,” it means they’re safe. This isn’t always the case, however. Some supplements are made with low-quality ingredients. Others may be dangerous if taken at high doses or combined with certain medications or other supplements. 

If you’re interested in anti-aging supplements, try to buy supplements from reputable brands (look for products that say “GMP”, which stands for “good manufacturing practices”) and tell your doctor about all of the supplements you use. It’s also good to keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Anti-Aging Supplements

Other Healthy Aging Strategies

Supplements won’t matter much if you’re not taking steps to protect your health in other ways. A poor diet, lack of exercise or sleep, sun damage, and smoking or drinking too much can all take years off your life. However, anti-aging supplements may help boost wellness along with other healthy lifestyle choices.

Ultimately, it’s not yet clear how well supplements work to extend your lifespan, but they may reduce your risk of disease and boost your body’s ability to recover from age-related damage.

By Mo McNulty

Maureen McNulty studied molecular genetics and English at Ohio State University. She has spent over a decade researching the genetic causes of — and possible treatments for — multiple types of cancer. Maureen is now a medical writer who is passionate about helping people use science to enrich their lives.