I’m interested in antioxidants for healthy aging. Can you tell me what to use and are antioxidants the strongest defense against disease?
The sheer number of anti-oxidants that exist make this difficult to answer, and more are being discovered every day.
Your question also asks though, about whether they’re the strongest defense against disease.
In both cases, a quote from Linus Pauling comes to mind. On his deathbed, he was quoted as saying “host cell resistance is the key.”
That made a lot of sense to me, and I’ll tell you why.
You build a house of bricks, and you can withstand a lot more wind than a house built of straw. I don’t think anyone would question that statement, and with good reason.
Pauling was most famous for his work with the anti-oxidant Vitamin C, but his papers reveal that he likely knew it was one of many mechanisms involved in healthy aging.
To put a stick in the ground, here are the anti-oxidants that I take on a regular basis.
1.) Vitamin C, 3 grams/day. If I feel something coming on, that’s 2-3 grams an hour every hour until I’m saturated.
2.) Natural Vitamin E (look for the D-alphatococypherol, not the synthetic DL form), plus tocotreinols if you can find them. 400 to 800mg/day.
3.) 300mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid, which helps to re-generate vitamins C and E. It’s also BOTH water and fat soluble.
4.) Ecdysterone: Unbeknown to most, full spectrum Rhaponticum has rather profound anti-oxidant function, in addition to showing better fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol and other important values on your bloodwork. Most will do best on 500 to 1,000mg a day.
5.) Curcumin: Loaded with anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and other compounds. I put Ginger in the same class and pair them together. A gram of each every day, sometimes 2.
6.) Canthaxanthin: If you get a lot of sun or just want added peace of mind, canthaxanthin squelches singlet oxygen in the skin, providing more protection than any other compound in the same class. I take the position that if one cancer is going to show up in your lifetime, it’s likely going to be skin cancer. It’s incidence is now more than all other cancers combined.
7.) Related and an excellent broad spectrum anti-oxidant, Astaxanthin continues to impress in the research. 15mg/day is what I use, as part of Tranquilogen.
8.) N-Acetyl-Cysteine: 1.5 to 2 grams/day boosts glutathione cheaply and effectively. Glutathione is the primary marker scientists use to gauge aging.
9.) Vitamin D: 5,000 IU/day given its involved in so many important bodily functions.
10.) Finally, Magnesium can be thought of as the “spark” that allows these anti-oxidants and other compounds to work so well. I get it in Synthagen, but if supplementing it separately SHR has a new sponsor with a dynamite product.
Finally, I can’t emphasize this enough: Regular exercise, a natural foods diet and quality sleep are 95% of what you’re looking for. It does nobody any good to ingest everything I just listed, skip workouts, eat like crap and burn the candle at both ends. There are NO supplements that make up for poor fundamentals, so remember that on your next trip to the health food store.