Early 2015, doctor and investor Joon Yun launched the Palo Alto Longevity prize, a one million dollar award for any scientist who could “hack the code of life” and find a way to keep humans from aging. In the past year, there has been a surge of new research into longevity enhancement in an attempt to win this illustrious prize. This article will explore the science to uncover the various supplements and drugs that can help you tap into the elusive fountain of youth.
- 1) Aspirin
- 2) C60
- 3) Lithium
- 4) Curcumin
- 5) Oxaloacetate
- 6) Rhodiola
- 7) Carnitine
- 8) NAC
- 9) Carnosine
- 10) Melatonin
- 11) Lactic acid
- 12) Gluconic Acid
- 13) NAD+
- 14) Malate
- 16) Acetate
- 17) Pyruvate
- 18) Activated charcoal
- 19) Lutein
- 20) Theaflavins
- 21) Inositol
- 22) Metformin
- 23) Deprenyl – MAOBI
- 24) Butyrate
- 25) Glucosamine
- 26) Resveratrol
Age-related diseases and general aging are often caused by chronic inflammation. In animal studies, using aspirin to quell inflammation resulted in extended lifespans, more physical capability and increased stress resistance (R1 R2).
French biologists found that rats given C60 (a fullerene molecule), dissolved in olive oil at doses of 1.7 mg/kg of body weight, lived nearly twice as long as control groups and had a reduction of age-related diseases, even though the rats were middle age at the start of the study. Rats have never lived as long in any study (R).
None of the rats treated with C60 got cancer, so studies looking at C60 and cancer prevention are currently underway (R).
C60 easily crosses the blood brain barrier. It concentrates itself in the mitochondria where it functions as a free radical scavenger i.e. it detoxifies the bi-products from the cell’s energy metabolism (R).
C60 molecules have the potential to block the replication of the HIV-1 virus so could prove to be an important weapon against AIDs (R).
C60 has never been tested on humans.
I use 1-3ml every once in a while.
Many people think that the most effective anti-aging strategies start by addressing the mitochondria. Lithium treatment on worms increased both lifespan and health span and improved mitochondrial energy output (R).
A correlation was found when researches measured the longevity of people and lithium in their water. There was a decreased risk for all-causes of death in Japanese neighborhoods with higher lithium levels.
The study concluded that “long-term low-dose exposure to lithium may exert anti-aging capabilities and unambiguously decreases mortality in evolutionary distinct species.” (R)
One mechanism might be that lithium should theoretically increase NAD+, which is associated with longevity.
Lifespan extension with curcumin has been attributed to its ability to decrease expression of age-related genes (including mTOR).
The increase in life spans did not change if the flies were also calorie restricted, suggesting that curcumin and caloric restriction act on the same biological pathways (R).
I find that curcumin is the most multifunctional supplement available. But not all curcumin supplements are created equal. Many are not bioavailable and do not reach the brain.
Accumulation of proteins is a common cause of aging. Oxaloacetate might increase lifespan by reducing the build up of methylglyoxal (MG) – an important source of protein toxicity and general biological dysfunction (R).
Oxaloacetate is a cellular metabolite and so is not available from a dietary source. It must be taken in supplement form.
I find these work well:
I recommend taking it in the morning or afternoon with meals. For me to notice a benefit, I need to take 3 pills a day, but since it’s expensive, I take one daily.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb commonly used to improve stress resilience.
R. rosea can extend lifespan in flies, worms, and yeast (R).
Rhodiola is a supplement that I like to take frequently. There are many options, but I do better when the rhodiola’s that have a higher salidroside percentage.
Here are the best options:
- Rhodiola 3% salidrosides (AMZN) or Rhodiola by Paradise Herbs (AMZN)
- Rhodiola paradise herbs (IHERB) or Rhodiola (IHERB-Nature’s Plus)
NAC extended the lives of flies. Flies fed NAC lived 26.6% longer than normal (R).
Similarly the lifespan of worms was extended by up to 30.5% with supplemental NAC. The same study showed that NAC significantly increased resistance to a variety of environmental stressors (R).
Because NAC is an antioxidant it may slow the aging process by protecting the organism against free radical-induced damage (R).
NAC effects on longevity might also involve its impact on the expression of specific mRNA genes (R).
NAC is widely available in supplemental form. I suggest capsules as loose crystals taste disgusting.
In both mice and rats, melatonin acts as a potent antioxidant and inhibits free radical damage (R).
Melatonin has effects on the expression of genes that govern the cell cycle, cell/organism defence, protein expression and transport, and mitochondrial function. It might also activate the same sirtuin pathways as caloric restriction (SIRT1) (R).
One of the best ways to increase melatonin is to minimize exposure to artificial light after sunset (R).
There are many types of melatonin, and people will differ in which kind works for them. Here are some interesting types of melatonin.
Melatonin time release (AMZN) or Melatonin Cream (IHERB)……….Melatonin (.5mg) (AMZN), Melatonin Sprayable, Melatonin (1mg) (AMZN), Melatonin (3mg) (AMZN) or Melatonin (liquid – 1 drop =50mcg) (AMZN) or Melatonin Drops (IHERB). Melatonin-time release 1mg (IHERB) Or Melatonin 3mg (IHERB)
11) Lactic acid
See here for the best ways to increase lactic acid.
12) Gluconic Acid
Gluconic acid increased lifespan of flies by 12-22% depending on what stage of life supplementation began (R).
Like lactic acid, gluconic acid increases life span by removing hydroxyl radicals (R).
Kombucha is a good source of gluconic acid.
Niagen is a good way to increase NAD levels:
- Nicotinamide Riboside/Niagen NAD+ (AMZN) or Niagen NAD+ 3 Pack (save 21$) (AMZN)
- Nicotinamide Riboside – Niagen NAD (IHERB)
This is a relatively new supplement, but my guess is it’s going to become more popular because of its noticeably powerful effect on improving energy and mitochondria. Its only downside is its expense.
Malate did not extend the lifespan of worms that were also calorie restricted (R).
Malate can be synthesized from fumarate. Hence, taking fumarate also extends lifespan (R).
- Malic acid Powder (AMZN)
- Malic acid (as part of supplements) (AMZN)
- Malic Acid (IHERB)
- Malic Acid (EBAY)
Malic acid is also good for chelating heavy metals and to increase energy production.
Vinegar is a good source of acetic acid.
There are Pyruvate supplements that you can take.
Activated charcoal is able to absorb substances from the digestive tract. It can be used to eliminate toxic substances and can alter the fat and protein content of the gut.
Rats given an activated carbon compound live an average of 37-60% longer. By absorbing toxic substances in the digestive tract carbon was found to delay age-related structural changes in the organs and tissues (R1, R2).
Here are two sources I often recommend:
Lutein is an abundant carotenoid in fruits and vegetables.
You can get lutein by eating lots of fruits and veg, but I also like to supplement.
Lifespan of flies was extended by approximately 10% when given a supplemental black tea extract rich in theaflavins. The flies given BTE also showed an increased resistance to the negative effects of a high fat diet (R).
I find this one by Life Extension to be effective:
I use 5g per a day of inositol. These are good options:
- Inositol (AMZN) or Inositol (HERB) (used synonymously with myoinositol)
- D-chiro-inositol (AMZN) or D-Chiro Inositol (IHERB)
- Carob (AMZN) or Carob (IHERB)
Metformin belongs to a family of drugs called biguanides that have been shown to increase lifespan. For example, Metformin extended the lifespan of worms by 40% (median) and significantly increased the lifespan of mice (R).
Like many other life extending drugs, metformin induces many of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced LDL and cholesterol levels without actual calorie restriction (R).
As already mentioned, blood sugar regulation is an important factor in aging. Metformin lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity in liver and muscles. It might also work by suppressing glucose production in the liver (R).
Metformin mitigates the high risk of diabetics getting cardiovascular disease and brain issues.
Metformin promotes mobility in old age, decreases fat build up, and increases stress resilience in response to oxygen deprivation (R).
Metformin is a prescription drug, so speak with your doctor before you take it.
23) Deprenyl – MAOBI
Deprenyl’s positive effects on longevity have been tested in at least five different animal species by independent research groups.
Deprenyl given at 1 mg/kg significantly prolonged the lifespan of middle aged dogs when taken for a minimum of six months (R).
This is a good source of Deprenyl.
Internal Butyrate levels can be increased via supplementation, or by eating more resistant starch and non-digestible fibers that encourage colonic fermentation.
- Buy: Glucosamine sulfate